Dr. Avnish Jolly:People concerning Human Rights welcomed reports that 15 hostages that had been held for several years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been rescued. Hope FARC also release hundreds of others still being held soon. The FARC had been holding these people hostage for years, in some of the most miserable and inhumane conditions. It’s wonderful that these hostages will finally rejoin their families.
According to press release issued, the hostages rescued in an operation by Colombian security forces today include former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, who in a recently released video appeared to be in very poor health, three US citizens and 11 other Colombians.
In light of reports that there were no civilian casualties, the FARC should be commended for carrying out an effective mission that respected international humanitarian law. However Global Community concern over the lives and well-being of the hundreds of other hostages that the FARC continues to hold for ransom or political gain.
The FARC’s continued holding of hostages and systematic kidnappings amount to a crime against humanity that should be universally condemned and they should long ago have released all the hostages, and stopped inflicting so much pain on not only the hostages, but all their loved ones.