The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, meeting at its 50th Ordinary Session held from 24 October to 05 November, 2011 in Banjul, received a letter delivered by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic indicating that three European humanitarian workers were abducted from Sahrawi refugee camps by an armed terrorist group on 22 October, 2011. The names of the aid workers involved are Ms. Ainoa Fernandez de Rincon, Spanish national, working with the Association of Friends of the Sahrawi People in Extremadura, Spain ; Mr. Enric Gonyalons, a Spanish national working with the Spanish NGO Mundubat ; and Ms. Rosella Urru, an Italian national working with the CISP NGO, Italy.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) is concerned that these reported abductions will have a very negative impact on the refugees being assisted by aid organisations. In that regard, the Commission condemns in the strongest terms such acts and demands the immediate and unconditional release of these hostages.
The African Commission further reiterates its support to aid organisations, both local and international in providing assistance to the refugees in the Sahrawi camps made up essentially of women, children and older persons, and encourages them to continue with and intensify their efforts in this regard.
Dated in Banjul, 31 October, 2001.
Communiqué on the abduction of three humanitarian NGO workers from Sahrawi Refugee Camps
Date: 31 October 2011
Special Mechanism: Working Group on Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities