ICRC appeals to abductors, says workers’ families suffering

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed Thursday to the abductors of three of its workers to show a sense of humanity and release them without conditions, because the families of the hostages had been “suffering horribly.”

The ICRC head of operations for East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific, Alain Aeschlimann, made the appeal after he visited families of Mary Jean Lacaba, Eugenio Vagni, and Andreas Notter.

“Meeting the families of Mary Jean, Andreas, and Eugenio was very moving for me. They are suffering horribly and my heart goes out to them,” he said in an article on the ICRC website (http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/philippines-interview-260209).

He said he was particularly touched to see the children of the three asking about their abducted parents, noting he himself also has a child.

Aeschlimann recalled that one of the children, who was his son’s age, could hardly sleep.

“My colleagues and I did our best to comfort the families, and we’re doing everything we can to give them the support they need,” he said. “We hope that this crisis will be over soon and that Mary Jean, Andreas, and Eugenio will be able to return home safe and sound.”

“We appeal to the abductors’ sense of humanity. We reiterate our call for the swift and unconditional release of Mary Jean, Eugenio, and Andreas,” he added.

Aeschlimann also said the three workers made contact with the ICRC and their families a week ago, but since then had not made any direct contact with them.

He also noted that in two media interviews, Mary Jean and Andreas said they were feeling weaker and having some health problems.

“It’s hard to confirm what is being reported by the media, but we are concerned about their health and about the fatigue and stress they are suffering,” he said.

On the other hand, he cited reliable sources who said a fresh batch of medicines from the ICRC reached the three.

But he admitted it was very difficult to know precisely where they were, adding there had been a lot of speculation about that.

“All we can say at this stage is that we know they have been on the move over recent days and that they have had to walk in very difficult conditions, through the jungle and often in the rain. All of this has apparently weakened them,” he said. – GMANews.TV

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Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 5:56 am  Comments Off on ICRC appeals to abductors, says workers’ families suffering  
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