GENEVA (Jun. 19)
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced here yesterday that its representatives in Syria visited three Israeli civilians imprisoned there since their capture while touring Lebanon early last month.
The visit took place last Thursday, June 14 and was the first time Red Cross representatives were permitted to see these prisoners. Diplomatic circles here believe that the recent visit to Syria by United Nations Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar may have had something to do with it.
According to the ICRC, their representatives were accompanied by a medical doctor and were allowed to speak to the prisoners without witnesses. The Israelis filled out Red Cross forms attesting to their health and other personal matters and describing the circumstances of their capture.
Three Israeli soldiers held captive by the Syrians were last visited by the Red Cross in April. When Perez de Cuellar was in Israel last week he met with the parents of Israeli prisoners in Syria and promised to see what can be done to obtain their release when he returns to New York.