MSF Strongly Condemns Kidnapping of Aid Worker

Suspension Of Operations Inside Chechnya Will Continue

New York/Moscow, August 6, 2002 — The international medical humanitarianmedical relief organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will continue the suspension of its relief programs in Chechnya for two more weeks on account of the kidnapping of Ms. Nina Davydovich, head of the Russian non-governmental organization Druzhba. MSF strongly condemns the kidnapping of Ms. Davydovich and urges all parties to ensure her immediate release.

MSF stopped its operations in Chechnya on July 29th, following the news of Ms. Davydovich's abduction. In addition to supplying health facilities with medicines and other medical materials, MSF runs a mental health project in Chechnya. MSF will review the situation on August 20th to decide whether to restart their operations.

MSF will continue to provide will, however, continue providing direct life saving assistance in case of emergenciesemergency assistance, which includes cooperation with Chechen surgical facilities. Operations assisting displaced Chechens in Ingushetia and Dagestan have not been affected by the suspension.

Ms. Davydovich's kidnapping once again reveals the continuous life-threatening risks faced by civilians, including humanitarian workers, in Chechnya. To this day, MSF is extremely concerned about the fate of hundreds of thousands of Chechen civilians living in war-torn Chechnya and in neighbouring republics.

MSF will review the situation on 19th of August and decide whether or not to continue with the suspension.