France condemns yesterday’s kidnapping by Jahbat al-Nusra of Father Dhiya Aziz, an Iraqi Franciscan priest, in the Syrian village of Yacubiyeh. This kidnapping comes in the wake of other abductions of religious figures, notably Father Jacques Mourad in May and, before that, Father Paolo Dall’Oglio and the two bishops of Aleppo. We call for the release of all those who were kidnapped and express our solidarity with their families and the affected churches.
France condemns the forced disappearances and kidnappings, as well as all acts of violence committed against civilians in Syria. It notes that these may be considered war crimes and crimes against humanity. Those responsible for these barbaric acts of any kind must be held accountable.