Bring back the kidnapped cement workers! – The BWI condemns the brutal mass abduction in Syria

21 April 2016 13:22

More than 300 cement workers were kidnapped last week by forces affiliated to the so called Islamic State (IS). The attack took place at the Al Badia Cement plant a cement plant near the town of Dumeir, 30 miles northeast of the capital Damascus. Hundreds of families have also fled the area according to news reports.

“The war and brutality in Syria is affecting ordinary people the most. We strongly condemn these kidnappings and demand that all cement workers regardless of religious beliefs are immediately released,” says Ambet Yuson, general secretary of the BWI.

Contact has been lost with the workers and it is not known what has happened to them as the information varies between from different sources. The IS-affiliated propaganda site Aamaq said in an online statement that it released 300 of the workers, but that it would not free 20 men accused of being “non-Muslims” and “regime supporters”. State military on the other hand claimed that 175 of the workers have been massacred. Other reports say around 100 people had managed to escape and some had been released.

Recent reports claims that most hostages have now been freed but that 30 cement workers are still hold captive to be questioned on religion and executed if they answer "wrongly" to the questions.

Mass abductions like this have taken place on occasion in Syria during the country’s devastating civil war, now in its sixth year.