Document - Colombia: Ingrid Betancourt gains her freedom

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PUBLIC STATEMENT


AI Index: AMR 23/024/2008 (Public)

3 July 2008



Colombia: Ingrid Betancourt gains her freedom



Amnesty International has welcomed the news that on 2 July former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt at last gained her freedom after more than six years in captivity at the hands of the guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Ingrid Betancourt, kidnapped in 2002, was freed along with three US contractors, kidnapped by the FARC in 2003, as well as 11 members of the Colombian security forces held captive by the guerrilla group. The Colombian government has said the 15 were freed following a military operation by the Colombian security forces.

"We must not, however, forget the hundreds of other civilians still being held, mainly by the FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN), which must release all of them immediately and unconditionally, as well as commit to put an immediate end to all kidnapping and hostage-taking", Amnesty International said.

All those held captive must be treated humanely, regardless of whether these are civilians or members of the security forces.




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