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Statement by Bellamy on hostage-taking of children at Russian school

© Reuters/Eduard Kornienko

NEW YORK/GENEVA/HONG KONG, 3 September 2004 - "The Beslan siege represents a new and discouraging low -- children used as hostages and denied food and water for three terrifying days," said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy.
"It is unacceptable, incomprehensible, senseless. And the tragedy is that this episode is just the latest in a rising tide of violence aimed at children. It is time to take stock, to take a long hard look at our world and how it is treating children," said Bellamy.

"We reiterate our earlier call that children must never be used for political purposes, and that schools must never be degraded to places of violence," Bellamy said speaking from Hong Kong.

"If we don't respect the sanctity of childhood, then we have nothing," she added.

Carol Bellamy
UNICEF Executive Director


For more information, please contact:

Angela Hawke, UNICEF CEE/CISand Baltics, 00 4122 909 5433

Jehane Sedky-Lavandero, UNICEF New York, 1 212 326-7269

Gordon Weiss, UNICEF New York, 1 212 326-7426





3 September 2004: UNICEF’s Media Coordinator of Emergency Operations Gordon Weiss on the hostage crisis.
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