Thursday, October 9, 2014

Australia: Foreign Ministry Issues Specific Kidnapping Travel Warning

According to the below links, the Australian Government has reiterated its position not to pay kidnappers to release Australian hostages, as it reissued its list of high-risk locations across the world:

http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au and APN

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop today (October 9) the Kidnapping Threat Worldwide bulletin that identifies Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, eastern Malaysia (Sabah), southern Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and parts of north and west Africa as being areas of particular concern.
"It also advises Australian travelers that some recent kidnappings have been ideologically motivated, resulting in hostages being killed for propaganda purposes," she said.
"Journalists and humanitarian workers are especially at risk owing to the nature of their work….It is the government's long-standing policy to not make payments or concessions to kidnappers so as not to increase the risk to other Australians of further kidnappings."
COMMENT: My only consideration is that the Foreign Minister broaden the scope of her bulletin to include the entire world as it is a challenge at this point to forecast when or where an Australian hostage may be abducted, including on Australian soil, although it is understood that including Australia would fall under the purview of a different ministry.
Foreign Minister Bishop said the government may be severely limited in its ability to assist in areas where kidnapping is a particular threat due to the inherent risks in these locations.
"Having made a decision to enter a high-risk zone, it is the responsibility of the individual and their employer to undertake their own security assessment and implement their own risk management plan," she said.

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