Published April 27, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A team from the international Red Cross (search) visited ousted and imprisoned Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (search) on Tuesday to see his conditions in U.S. custody, an American general said.
Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt (search) would not say where the visit took place. Saddam, who turns 67 on Wednesday, has been held in an undisclosed location since his capture by U.S. forces in December, undergoing CIA and FBI interrogation.
The International Committee of the Red Cross previously saw the former Iraqi leader on Feb. 21.
"We welcome the crucial role of the ICRC," Kimmitt said, adding that the coalition will meet its "obligations under international law" and will continue to work with the Red Cross.
The United States considers Saddam a prisoner of war and intends to hand him over to Iraqis for trial. An all-Iraqi tribune has been created to carry out the trial.
The Red Cross is mandated to visit detainees under the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of warfare, but will not speak publicly on what conditions it finds. The delegates will, however, share their findings with the U.S.-led coalition forces holding Saddam.
The Swiss-based agency already has visited most of the 43 other high-ranking Iraqis captured by coalition forces, as well as many other prisoners of war and civilian detainees in Iraq.
Saddam was born on April 28, 1937, in a village near desert the town of Tikrit, north of Baghdad.