A-1010 Vienna, Kohlmarkt 4

Vienna, 8 October 1993/P/K/14069c-is


In a statement issued today, the President of the International Progress Organization (I.P.O.) called for the immediate release of all Kuwaiti prisoners of war (POWs) in Iraq. Prof. Koechler referred to Amnesty International's report of 8 September 1993 concerning the detention of Kuwaitis and third-country nationals in Iraq.

The I.P.0. considers the repatriation of all prisoners and detainees as a basic requirement of international humanitarian law and as an important step towards the establishment of durable peace in the region. The I.P.O. therefore welcomes the steps taken by the International Committee of the Red Cross as a neutral intermediary.

The President of the I.P.0. earlier today briefed former Austrian President Dr. Kurt Waldheim about the issue of Kuwaiti POWs. The ex-President and former Secretary-General of the United Nations declared his readiness to intervene for their immediate release.

Prof. Koechler further stated that the I.P.0. - as an organization in consultative status with the United Nations - is ready to co-operate closely with other non-governmental and humanitarian organizations in that regard.