Doctors Without Borders Welcomes Dropping of Charges Against Its Representatives in Sudan

Khartoum/Amsterdam, June 20, 2005 – The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) welcomes the dropping of all charges against Paul Foreman, its head of mission in Sudan, and Vincent Hoedt, its regional coordinator in Darfur.

"Hopefully we will be able to again focus all our attention get on providing humanitarian assistance to the victims of the conflict in Darfur, most of whom are almost entirely dependent on aid," says Geoff Prescott, general director of MSF-Holland. "The people in Darfur are still suffering from violence and extreme medical needs and MSF will continue to stand by them."

Paul Foreman and Vincent Hoedt were arrested at the end of May. Both were charged with publishing false information, undermining the Sudanese society and spying in connection with the publication of the report The Crushing Burden of Rape: Sexual Violence in Darfur in March. They had been released on bail and forbidden to leave the country. As the government has confirmed that all charges against them have been dropped, they will continue their daily work as soon as possible.

MSF works in over 29 locations in Darfur with 180 international and 3,000 national staff. Over the last 12 months, MSF has provided almost a million medical consultations and treated more then 50,000 children suffering from malnutrition in Darfur.