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Video Links Detainees to Families

Red Cross has been setting up call centers in detention centers in Afghanistan and beyond to connect detainees with their families via video-conference.

Photo of Meena Kadri
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When the detainee video-link initiative was set up in Bagram, within 3 days 60 families were able to speak to their detained loved ones for 20 mins via video-conference. Quotes from the article linked above:

"How fantastic it is to be able to see and talk to my brother," said Abdul Mohammad, part of a family who came to the delegation. "I don't know what to say, it's so difficult to put this feeling into words. It's a blessing. I will never forget this moment!"

"The system is the first of its kind", explained Reto Stocker, head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan " It was set up basically to reassure detainees and their families by allowing them to see and speak to one another."

Similar initiatives have been set up by the Red Cross in other detention centers, including Guantanamo. At times they help to cover the costs of travel for family members who have to travel to a video call center to connect with detainees. Does this point to opportunities for how we might further use technology to connect friends & family with detainees as we move into the upcoming Concepting phase?

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Photo of Tayfun Uslu

Hi Meena,

It definitely does. Even though the detainment is unlawful, it doesn't mean that there shouldn't be any humane treatment to the detained ones.

Another advantage of this approach is to cut down on unnecessary travel for the detained ones. Two weeks ago, in Turkey, a bus that carries people from jail to a trial was burned and several people unfortunately died. This could have been prevented or minimized if there was a Video Conference system where people could have given their statements over such system.

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Great build on the example posted here, Tayfun. And again – it's so good to get current insights from you, highlighting the reach of our global community!