ICRC appeals anew for hostages’ release

MANILA, Philippines — The International Committee of the Red Cross renewed its appeal to the kidnappers of its workers to keep them from harm.

Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC media officer in Manila said: “We ask that they remain unharmed. We reiterate our appeal to the abductors to let Eugenio and Andreas go without delay and unconditionally.”

Isyuk’s statement came after reports that the Abu Sayyaf group, the Al-Qaeda-linked terror group based in Southern Mindanao, has threatened to behead Swiss Andreas Notter and Italian Eugenio Vagni.

The two, along with Filipino engineer Mary Jean Lacaba, were seized by gunmen on Jan. 15 after they inspected a water facility as the Jolo provincial jail.

Lacaba was freed by their abductors on Thursday night in a forested area of Indanan, Sulu, after 77 days in captivity.

The ICRC has kept Lacaba away from the glare of media spotlight and has sent in a doctor from Geneva to treat her.

Since her release, Lacaba has not issued a statement and an ICRC source said she was in an “undisclosed location” in Manila.

Alain Aeschlimann, chief of ICRC Asia-Pacific delegation, said Lacaba “is in good health” and is being surrounded by friends and family members.

“She’s lost some weight and is obviously tired, but she’s doing okay. What she needs now is rest and quality time with her family. We will not be commenting further, as that would be an invasion of her privacy,” he said.

Kay Alave, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Published in: on April 4, 2009 at 5:42 pm  Comments Off on ICRC appeals anew for hostages’ release  
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