INDEPENDENT NEWS

Fate of abducted New Zealand Red Cross nurse unknown

Published: Mon 15 Apr 2019 09:34 AM
15 April 2019, Wellington (New Zealand Red Cross) – It has been confirmed that a New Zealander working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was abducted on 13 October 2013 in Syria and remains missing.
Louisa Akavi was taken, along with six others, while delivering supplies to medical facilities in Idlib governate, north-western Syria. Four of the abductees were released the next day, but Louisa’s fate, and that of her two Syrian ICRC colleagues, remains unknown.
“Louisa is a valued member of the Red Cross whānau. She is highly skilled, compassionate and resilient. A friend, a colleague and a mentor,” says Niamh Lawless, New Zealand Red Cross Secretary General.
“She has dedicated her life to those affected by war and violence, and she went to Syria because people needed her. She wanted to use her skills to make a difference for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”
An experienced nurse and midwife, Ms Akavi has been working with the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement since 1987 when she was deployed to Malaysia to help Vietnamese refugees. Syria was her 17th field mission.
“Every decision we have made since Louisa was kidnapped has been in the interests of securing her freedom,” Ms Lawless says. “Since 2013 we have been providing support to her family, while working alongside the ICRC and the New Zealand Government to locate her and bring her home safely.”
Ms Lawless says the wellbeing of Ms Akavi and her family remains New Zealand Red Cross’ first priority.
“Louisa’s family is used to her being overseas for her job, however, this has been an extremely stressful and worrying situation for them. We ask the media and the public to respect their privacy and the difficult times they are going through.
“We remain deeply concerned about Louisa’s safety, health and wellbeing, however, we retain a sense of hope she will be reunited with her family, her friends and workmates. We call on whoever is holding Louisa to release her immediately and unconditionally.”
ends

Next in New Zealand politics

Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
By: New Zealand Government
Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
By: New Zealand Government
New resource for schools on climate change
By: New Zealand Government
Regulations pave way for quality medicinal cannabis
By: New Zealand Government
New Year Honours: Sporting greats among knights and dames
By: RNZ
Gordon Campbell on a White Island inquiry
By: Gordon Campbell
$10.98 million of PGF funding announced
By: Kaikoura District Council
Proposed whitebait rules are pitiful, won’t save native fish
By: Forest And Bird
Whitebait rules needed to save fish from extinction
By: Forest And Bird
Fisheries management helps prevent overfishing - Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Whitebaiters set to lose thousands on stands
By: New Zealand National Party
Government attempting to ban whitebaiting
By: New Zealand National Party
2019 NZ's fourth warmest year on record - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Simplistic climate change lessons counterproductive
By: Federated Farmers
Climate change curriculum
By: Taxpayers' Union
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media