MSF strongly condemns kidnapping of head of Druzhba
Operations inside Chechnya continue to be suspended
6 August 2002
Moscow - The international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will continue the suspension of its relief programme in Chechnya for another period of two weeks on account of the kidnapping of Ms. Nina Davidovich, head of the Russian non-governmental organization Druzhba. MSF strongly condemns the kidnapping of Ms. Davidovich and urges all parties to ensure her immediate release. MSF stopped its operations in Chechnya on July 29, following the news of the abduction of Ms. Davidovich. MSF supplies health facilities with drugs and medical materials and runs a mental health project in Chechnya. MSF will review the situation on August 20 and decide whether or not to continue with the suspension. However, MSF will continue to provide direct life-saving assistance in case of emergencies which includes cooperation with surgical facilities in Chechnya. All operations in both Ingushetia and Dagestan will continue to function as normal. This kidnapping unveils once again the continuous life-threatening risks that civilians, including humanitarian workers, are subjected to in Chechnya, where war still rages on. To this day, MSF is extremely worried about the fate of hundreds of thousands of Chechen civilians living in war-ridden Chechnya and in neighbouring republics.