SOS from Lerounis

Abducted Greek volunteer Athanassios Lerounis has made a dramatic appeal to Pakistan’s government to arrange his release and safe return to Greece, in a hand-written letter dated October 2, according to reports in local newspapers.
Lerounis, a Greek volunteer working with the Kalash tribe near the Pakistani border, was abducted by masked Taliban on September 8, during an attack on his home in a local village.
The hand-written note in English bears his signature and says that his life is in danger unless Pakistani authorities accept the terms set by his abductors for his release – namely a ransom of 20,000 dollars and the release of three Taliban leaders held in Pakistan.
According to the local “Chitral Times”, a delegation of local Muslim leaders from the Mumuret Valley has twice visited the region of Nuristan in neighbouring Afghanistan, where Lerounis is being held hostage, in order to negotiate the Greek volunteer’s release but has so far returned empty handed.
During the last visit, it brought back three letters written by Lerounis: one to Pakistan’s government, one to the Greek ambassador in the country and one to the non-governmental organisation “Greek Volunteers” that he worked for until he was kidnapped.
A third attempt to meet the kidnappers in being arranged but it is unknown when this will take place.
In his letters to the ambassador and the NGO, Lerounis said that he was in good health, at least at the time they were written, and that he was being held by the Taliban who had informed him of their terms for his release.
He also noted his work as a volunteer among the Kalash since 1995, saying that he had participated in projects benefiting poor Pakistanis and that the Pakistani Embassy in Athens was well acquainted with the activities of the Greek Volunteers in Pakistan.
(source: ana-mpa)


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