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News Release


Release No: 178-99
April 16, 1999


Kosovo Liberation Army forces captured a Yugoslav Army officer during a night operation 13-14 April 1999 near Junik, Kosovo. He was subsequently delivered to the Albanian government, and on 16 April, he was delivered to U. S. custody. Today he was flown on a U.S. helicopter from northern Albania to Tirana where he is currently under the control of U.S. military authorities.

The soldier is being treated as a prisoner of war (POW), and has been afforded rights as a POW under the provisions of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949. He has been examined by a qualified medical doctor to ascertain any combat related or other injuries, and was found to be in good condition. In addition to the food, shelter and medical care being provided, religious counseling is being coordinated for him, and arrangements have been made for a visit by a representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

During his captivity, the Yugoslav officer will enjoy all the protections and rights accorded by the Geneva Conventions, including the right to send and receive mail, to communicate any complaints, receive medical care, and to have his habits, customs, and religious practices respected. Prisoners of war are entitled to release and repatriation, without delay, upon agreement or after the cessation of active hostilities. We will continue to monitor his condition.

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