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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 12/11/2013, 00.00

    SYRIA

    Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate: " No news of the 13 Ma'aloula nuns, we do not trust the video"



    According to video released by Al-Jazeera the women religious held in Yabrud were to be released on December 9. The Greek -Orthodox Patriarchate "concerned" about their condition. Ongoing intense fighting in the area between the army and Islamist insurgents. Two Spanish journalists in Syria to a report on the anti- Assad revolution held captive by Islamic extremists.

    Damascus (AsiaNews) - 13 greek -orthodox nuns kidnapped Dec. 2 in Maaloula along with some young orphans are still in the hands of the Islamist group al- Ahrar Qalamoun . After the  video released December 6 by Al- Jazeera there has been no more news of the women religious, despite the speculation about their possible release as early as last December 9.

    Contacted by AsiaNews, the Greek - orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch says it "does not have any news on the condition of the nuns and three young orphans from Ma'aloula ." The last direct contact was brief phone call to the Patriarch of Antioch Youhanna X a few days after the kidnapping .

    "Since then - said a source in the Patriarchate - no one has been in touch with us and most of the news we read on the internet like the rest of the world. We have seen the video released by al- Jazeera , but we have no confirmation on the real condition of the sisters, nor the reasons for their seizure and we think that the video is unreliable and further investigation is required . "In the video the Ma'aloula sisters appeared in good health and denied having been abducted , but only brought to safety. The women were filmed wearing their religious clothing, but without the traditional crucifix.

    Fierce fighting is being reported from the region of Qalamoun between the army and Islamist insurgents . The area which incorporates the small village of Yabrud is located about 50 km kilometers northwest of Damascus and is one of the most important strongholds of the rebels. In the mountainous area on the border with Lebanon, there are several predominantly Christian villages such as Sadad and Hofar fallen in recent months into the hands of Islamic extremists. Yesterday the army regained control of Nabak , Deir Attiya and Qara .

    AsiaNews sources point out that the rebels fighting against Assad belong to different factions, each taking advantage of abductions for various purposes . Some groups, such as the authors of the seizure of the Sisters of Maaloula, trying to distance themselves from extremist and violent kidnappings say the abductions are " humanitarian actions aimed at the protection of civilians ." The most intransigent and violent use the hostages as human shields and as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Assad 's army . The last case concerns two Spanish journalists , Javier Espinosa ( El Mundo ) and Ricardo Garcia ( freelance photographer ) , who disappeared September 16 in the province of Raqqa ( Turkish border ) , who are reportedly in the hands of the militia of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant . The two were in Syria just to document the positive aspects of the rebellion against Assad.

    According to El Mundo - which in recent months has silenced the news to deal with the kidnappers - the two journalists were kidnapped along with four fighters of the Free Syrian Army. The militiamen were released after 12 days, but not the two Spaniards . Today Monica Prieto , wife of Javier Espinosa , has appealed to the kidnappers : " Javier and Ricardo are not your enemies. Please honor the revolution that they have protected and free them ." There are also several Syrian anti- Assad activists in the hands of groups of kidnappers, not yet been identified . Today, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced the disappearance of Razan Zaytouna , winner of the Anna Politkovskaya Award 2011. The woman was kidnapped in the suburb of Douma east of Damascus along with other activists by armed men. They raided the headquarters of the Centre for the documentation of human rights violations linked to the rebellion. Zaytouna had admitted receiving death threats from Islamic extremist groups . (SC)

     

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    See also

    10/02/2014 SYRIA
    New video of abducted Ma'aloula nuns, calling for the release of "all detainees" in Syria
    The video was broadcast by Al Jazeera. This time the sisters do not speak and there is only a voiceover. The sisters are a bargaining chip: the rebels want the release of all detainees in Syria.

    16/09/2013 SYRIA
    Maaloula refugees celebrate the Exaltation of the Cross, pray for their martyrs
    "The small town conquered by the rebels is now deserted," sources told AsiaNews. In the capital, refugees organised celebrations-Mass, Eucharistic adoration and vigils-in lieu of traditional processions and bonfires. "The event was dedicated to our martyrs and the suffering of Syria," a Maaloula Christian said.

    04/12/2013 SYRIA
    Maaloula sisters in Yabrud, Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate reports
    The nuns are said to be in good condition. At present, it remains unclear why Islamist insurgents took them or when they will be released. In the now deserted town, Islamists have started torching all Christian-owned homes.

    02/12/2013 SYRIA
    Maaloula: Islamist rebels abduct 12 nuns from the St Thecla Orthodox monastery
    The sisters were abducted this afternoon when a group of armed men stormed the monastery. For Vatican nuncio Mgr Mario Zenari and the Greek Orthodox Church, the rebels have taken the nuns to Yabrud, a city 80 km from Damascus.

    23/04/2013 SYRIA
    Two Orthodox Bishops abducted by an armed group on the road to Aleppo
    They are the Syriac Orthodox bishop of Aleppo, Msgr. Youhanna Ibrahim, and the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo and Iskenderun, Msgr. Boulos al-Yaziji. Their driver was killed on the outskirts of the city. State television accuses "terrorist groups", but the identity of the kidnappers is not clear. Some time ago, Msgr. Ibrahim had dennounced kidnappings and violence against Christians.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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