16 Apr 2019

ICRC still holds out hope for Louisa Akavi

From Nine To Noon, 9:28 am on 16 April 2019
Louisa Akavi

Photo: International Committee of the Red Cross

The International Red Cross says it still holds out hope that New Zealand nurse Louisa Akavi may be alive - five and a half years after her capture by ISIS.

Ms Akavi and two Syrian colleague were kidnapped in 2013, but the ICRC, government and media agreed not to say anything about the kidnapping in case it further endangered her.

Yesterday the charity broke its silence with a plea for information about Ms Akavi's whereabouts, in the wake of the collapse of the IS caliphate. It has set up an mobile phone with all messenger apps, in both English and Arabic, which will accept any information about the trio.

Pawel Krzysiek spent four years in Syria with the ICRC just after the kidnapping and tells Kathryn Ryan about all the efforts his organisation has gone to over the years to find their colleagues.