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Two Korean Hostages Released, 19 Remain

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Two female Korean hostages were released by the Taliban on Monday, 13 August. While rejoicing that at least two innocent lives have been saved, civil society continues to call on the UN as well as the US and Afghan governments to play a more proactive role to resolve the hostage crisis in Afghanistan.
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) welcomes and celebrates the recent release of two female Korean hostages by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Kim Gina (32) and Kim Kyung-ja (37) were released on Monday, 13 August due to critical medical conditions. These women were two out of the original 23 Korean Christian aid workers that were captured by the Taliban on 19 July, 2007. The lives of the remaining 19 hostages are in limbo as the Taliban continues its attempts to negotiate the lives of the Korean civilians in exchange for Taliban prisoners.

The release of the female hostages occurred after FORUM-ASIA, along with its member organizations People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) and the Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS), issued a joint press statement calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the Korean civilians especially those in need of proper medical care.1

While civil society rejoices that two innocent civilian lives were spared—especially after the tragic deaths of two of the hostages in late July—the hostage situation in Afghanistan continues to be a humanitarian crisis that requires united action from various factions including the Afghan and US government. Both continue to play an observatory role.

On 7 August, over 78 South Korean civil society organisations released a joint statement not only encouraging civil participation in praying for the safe return of the hostages but also urging the UN and the US government in particular to play a more active role in negotiations in order to safely bring the remaining hostages back to their families.2


For more information regarding their statement, please visit the following website: