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ICRC report on the visit to “Robbeneiland” (Robben Island) Prison on the 1st May, 1964, by Mr G. Hoffmann, Delegate General of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Africa


On 1 May 1964, Georg Hoffmann, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Delegate General in Africa, inspected Robben Island Prison, where some twenty days earlier Nelson Mandela was visited for the first time. Having access to political prisoners in apartheid South Africa, the ICRC sought to ensure that detainees lived in decent conditions and were treated humanely.

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1 For more information on the ICRC's approach and action when carrying out prison visits, see ICRC, “What We Do for Detainees”, available at:

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International Review of the Red Cross
  • ISSN: 1816-3831
  • EISSN: 1607-5889
  • URL: /core/journals/international-review-of-the-red-cross
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