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Detainee Release Procedure: An Inside Look with ICRC’s Martin Schüepp

Swedish News in a Nutshell: A Closer Look at the Detainee Release Process!


Ever wondered what happens when hostages are set free? Martin Schüepp, the operational leader of the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) reveals the intricate process behind their safe return. It not only involves precise location coordinates and medical personnel but also a friendly gesture or warm voice!

Understanding the Process

When the red-cross-marked vehicle rolls to a pre-determined location, often behind a battle line, precision is key. Many of the detainees are frightened and confused, some oblivious to their impending freedom, while others are physically fragile.

“Our primary role is as an escort, but we also have medical staff with us when we pick up the released,” says Schüepp.

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Interesting Stats: Freeing the Hostages
The Swiss political scientist has worked in conflict zones like Afghanistan, Congo-Kinshasa, and Darfur. Schüepp reveals that during last fall’s Gaza war, ICRC wasn’t able to share too many specifics due to its commitment to maintaining neutrality.

However, he shared an impressive number:

“We have moved 109 from hostage from Gaza and 154 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons,” he disclosed.

Journalistic Viewpoints: The Expat Perspective

For expats in Sweden, hearing about Schüepp’s work gives a valuable perspective about the ongoing conflicts worldwide and their resolution. The ICRC’s activities clearly illustrate how international entities work diligently to reduce human suffering.

Information Focus: ICRC’s Uniqueness

ICRC operates from a unique humanitarian mandate based on the Geneva Conventions. Their main responsibility is to prevent human suffering, protect lives and ensure that war laws are respected. This makes them the only organization often allowed to operate in conflict-ridden areas.

Balance of Objectivity and Perspective

It’s crucial to note, while the ICRC helps with the release of prisoners, they do not negotiate the terms. Their role, based on neutrality, predominantly involves ensuring successful and safe execution of the process.


In the midst of conflict, uncertainty, and distress, organizations like ICRC play an instrumental role in alleviating human suffering. Despite the challenges and high stakes, their mission to uphold human dignity continues to positively impact many lives. Their reassuring presence and unwavering efforts, as highlighted by Schüepp, are giving people the hope of a safe return home.

“Our neutrality does not mean that we are indifferent to suffering. It is a working principle that allows us to reach those in need,” shares Schüepp.

With these insights, we hope you gain a deeper understanding of the fascinating and complex processes that occur behind the scenes when it comes to freeing detainees in international conflicts!

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