|Iran asks UN to help free Iranians abducted in Syria, Libya||
TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi sent a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday calling on the UN to take the measures necessary to secure the release of Iranian nationals recently abducted in Libya and Syria.
Following is the text of Salehi’s letter:
I would like to draw your attention to the media reports indicating the killing of three Iranian captives in Syria. The three captives were among 48 Iranian pilgrims who were abducted by the fighters from the so-called “Free Syrian Army” on their way to the Damascus Airport on 4 August 2012.
According to the same sources, the hostage takers have threatened to kill the remaining captives in the coming hours.
In another case of abduction 7 members of an Iranian Red Crescent Society delegation who were visiting Libya upon invitation of the Libyan Red Crescent were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Benghazi on 31 July 2012.
I would like to convey the deep concern of my Government as well as the families of the pilgrims and aid workers over security and safety of these hostages. Iran holds the hostage takers responsible for any loss of lives or injury to the hostages.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran calls for the immediate release of its abducted nationals and is of the view that using the hostages as human shields violates the international law and human rights of these innocent civilians. I would like to seek the cooperation and the good offices of Your Excellency for securing the release of these hostages.
The kind cooperation of the relevant United Nations offices in responding to this request of Government and the families of the hostages will be highly appreciated.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
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