UN Emergency Relief Coordinator welcomes release of NGO staff member in the Russian Federation

(United Nations:10 January) - In a statement today, Mr. Kenzo Oshima, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator welcomed the release of Nina Davydovich, head of the Russian non-governmental organization Druzhba, who had been abducted while working in the Republic of Chechnya, Russian Federation on 23 July. Russian authorities had confirmed her release on 9 January.
In the statement, Mr. Oshima thanked the Russian authorities for their efforts in securing Ms. Davydovich's release after more than five months.

The Emergency Relief Coordinator also expressed his "extreme concern" about the fate Mr. Arjan Erkel, a volunteer for the non-governmental organization, Medecins Sans Frontiers who was abducted on 12 August in the Republic of Dagestan, Russian Federation. Mr. Oshima joined Medecins Sans Frontiers in their call for the safe and immediate release of Mr. Erkel.

Mr. Oshima underscored the solidarity of the United Nations humanitarian community with the hundreds of civilians who have been abducted in Chechnya in recent years, and called on those responsible to ensure the safe return of their victims.

For more information please contact: Moscow: Victoria Zotikova: (7095) 956-6405


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