One year after the release on April 12 2004, of Arjan Erkel, a Dutch volunteer for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) who was kidnapped in Dagestan and held captive for 20 months, MSF is now being dragged before a civil court by the Dutch government. The Dutch Government is demanding that MSF reimburse them for one million dollars - the sum they claim they contracted to loan MSF for the payment of Arjan's ransom. Yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland, the first public court appearance took place before the presiding judge.
"We are talking about, in effect, the traffic of a human being on the territory of the Russian federation, the kidnapping of an humanitarian worker, - a person who is supposed to have protection under international law and who should expect that law to be enforced by the countries that have signed it."
- Rowan Gillies, MSF International Council President