Release of Colombian hostages welcomed by top UN human rights official

Release of Colombian hostages welcomed by top UN human rights official

Voicing her relief and satisfaction at the release of four former parliamentarians in Colombia who had been held hostage by an armed rebel group for more than six years, the United Nations human rights chief today called for the immediate release of all other hostages.

Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued a statement welcoming yesterday’s release of Gloria Polanco de Lozada, Luis Eladio Pérez, Jorge Eduardo Gechem and Orlando Beltrán by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP).

“All hostages held in Colombia must be released immediately and unconditionally,” she said, adding that taking hostages was prohibited under international humanitarian law.

Ms. Arbour expressed sympathy for everyone still held hostage by Colombia’s armed groups and for their families.