UN: 60 staffers remain detained or in captivity

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Associated Press

Posted on March 25, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 25 at 9:04 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations is marking a day of solidarity with the dozens of staffers around the world who remain in detention or in the hands of their abductors.

The U.N. on Tuesday recognized 60 staffers, most of them locally recruited, who were detained or in captivity as of March 21. That's according to a statement by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who says he is "especially worried" about staffers in conflict-ripped Syria. The U.N. has said 22 staffers are detained or presumed detained there, with another three missing.

"It is now clear that the United Nations flag has increasingly become a target instead of a shield," Ian Richards, vice president of the United Nations Staff-Management Committee, said in a statement.

The U.N. Staff Union says 138 civilian personnel were detained or arrested by authorities in member states last year.

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