Canadian Red Cross Condemns Abduction of Red Cross Workers in Chechnya
(Ottawa, November 14, 2002) - The Canadian Red Cross strongly condemns yesterday's abduction of two International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) employees in Chechnya.
"We are deeply concerned about the fate of the two men abducted in Chechnya," says Michael Rudiak, Canadian Red Cross Program Manager, Europe/Central Asia. "We are disturbed about the safety of humanitarian workers as they carry out their essential work in delivering aid to the victims of war. Under international humanitarian law, personnel, installations and means of transport protected by the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems must be respected and their safety ensured."
Unidentified armed men abducted two employees of the ICRC yesterday afternoon near Grozny on the road between Pobedinskoye and Goragorskiy. They were travelling in a convoy of three of the organization's vehicles heading back to neighbouring Ingushetia after delivering humanitarian aid in the Chechen capital. The abductees are Alexander Panov and Moussa Satushiev. Both have been working for several years as truck drivers for the ICRC in Nalchik. The incident took place at 2:45 p.m. when armed and masked men stopped the vehicles. They allowed two other employees to go free.
The ICRC is in contact with all relevant authorities as well as representatives of local communities. Meanwhile, additional security measures have been taken for ICRC staff in the region and the situation is being reassessed in view of this latest incident.
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