6 February 2009
Secretary-General
SG/SM/12088

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES RELEASE OF SIX HOSTAGES BY COLOMBIAN REBEL GROUP,


STRESSES KIDNAPPING ‘UNJUSTIFIABLE CRIME’, GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The release this week of six hostages held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, is welcome news, which the Secretary-General hopes will lead to further releases.  He commends the governmental and non-governmental efforts that enabled these developments to take place.  The Secretary-General is relieved that among those released is the former Governor of the Department of Meta, Alan Jara, who was kidnapped by the FARC in 2001 when travelling in a United Nations vehicle.   The Secretary-General is pleased to know that they are now enjoying their freedom after so much time in captivity.  He expresses his solidarity with the many people still being held against their will in Colombia.


Kidnapping is an inhumane and unjustifiable crime, as well as a gross violation of international human rights and humanitarian law.  The Secretary-General calls on the FARC and other groups to release all hostages immediately.


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For information media • not an official record