UN’s top rights official condemns killings of lawmakers in Colombia

1 July 2007

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has strongly condemned the reported killing in Colombia of 11 lawmakers who had been held hostage by a guerrilla group.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has strongly condemned the reported killing in Colombia of 11 lawmakers who had been held hostage by a guerrilla group.

In a statement released on Friday, Louise Arbour urged a full and impartial investigation into the killings by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), saying those responsible must brought to justice in accordance with international standards.

Recalling that all parties to the conflict are bound by international human rights and humanitarian law on the treatment of civilians, the High Commissioner also called for the immediate release of all hostages being held in Colombia.

The FARC has since last year been fighting with another guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), causing more people to flee in a country where the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says there are 2 million registered displaced persons and an estimated additional million who are unregistered. Some 200,000 Colombians may be in need of international protection in Venezuela, according to UNHCR, which has field offices on both sides of the border.

 

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