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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 183rd session
(Geneva, 15 October 2008)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Oscar Lizcano, former member of the Congress of Colombia, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/183/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 182nd session (April 2008),

Recalling that Mr. Lizcano was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on 5 August 2000 and that in early April 2008 a video was circulated in which he appeared seriously weakened,

Considering that on 9 October 2008 the Colombian High Commissioner for Peace confirmed before the Colombian Congress that Mr. Lizcano's health was precarious, stating that the President of Colombia had authorized two persons to maintain contact with the FARC section holding Mr. Lizcano and that those contacts had been in place for three weeks,

Considering that the Colombian Armed Forces liberated Ms. Ingrid Betancourt and fourteen other hostages held by FARC on 2 July 2008; recalling that five former congressmen and Ms. Clara Rojas, Ms. Betancourt's former assistant, were released by FARC in early 2008, and that FARC continues to hold an estimated 700 persons in captivity,

Recalling furthermore that the Colombian Congress set up the parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on Peace and a Humanitarian Agreement to promote the conclusion of a humanitarian agreement,

  1. Welcomes with deep satisfaction the fact that Ms. Betancourt and fourteen other hostages have recovered their freedom after years of captivity by FARC and agonizing uncertainty for them and their families;

  2. Is encouraged by the wave of releases that have taken place since the beginning of the year and the efforts made to obtain the liberation of Mr. Lizcano, whose precarious health requires urgent medical attention;

  3. Trusts that the Government of Colombia and FARC will act with resolve to obtain the release of Oscar Lizcano and the swift conclusion of a humanitarian agreement leading to the release of all hostages held by FARC;

  4. Is confident that the parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on Peace and a Humanitarian Agreement is keeping up its important work to this end, and wishes to ascertain the steps it has recently taken in this respect;

  5. Recalls that the abduction of persons who play no active part in hostilities is explicitly prohibited under international humanitarian law, and calls on FARC to release its civilian hostages immediately and unconditionally and to refrain from the unlawful practice of kidnapping;

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 120th Assembly of the IPU (April 2009).
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