Afghanistan: Jesuit Refugee Service director kidnapped 34km from Herat city
03 June 2014

The Jesuit Refugee Service confirms that on Monday morning its country director, Alexis Prem Kumar SJ, was abducted by a group of unidentified men in western Afghanistan.
We are deeply shocked by Prem's abduction. We are in contact with all the relevant authorities and doing everything possible to ensure his safe and speedy return. Meanwhile, our prayers are with Prem and his family and friends at this difficult time.
Rome, 3 June 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service confirms that on Monday morning its country director, Alexis Prem Kumar SJ, was abducted by a group of unidentified men in western Afghanistan.

"We are deeply shocked by Prem's abduction. We are in contact with all the relevant authorities and doing everything possible to ensure his safe and speedy return. Meanwhile, our prayers are with Prem and his family and friends at this difficult time", said Jesuit Refugee Service International Director, Peter Balleis SJ.

Forty-seven year old Indian national Prem Kumar had accompanied teachers on a visit to a JRS-supported school for the returnee refugees in Sohadat township, 34 km from the city of Herat. He was kidnapped from the school as he was about to return to Herat.

Before moving to Afghanistan four year ago, Prem Kumar had worked for the Jesuit Refugee Service, serving Sri Lankan refugees living in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. He is presently the JRS Afghanistan Director.

JRS has been working in Afghanistan since 2005 accompanying returnees home from exile in Iran and Pakistan and providing education and healthcare services in Bamiyan, Kabul and Herat. In 2013, more than 6,000 vulnerable people from disadvantaged communities benefitted from these services.

In order to facilitate the rapid and safe return of Prem Kumar, the Jesuit Refugee Service will not be making further statements on the situation for the moment.

Information to editors
The Jesuit Refugee Service is an international Catholic organisation with a mission to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of forcibly displaced persons. With its headquarters based in Rome and with teams working in more than 50 countries around the world, JRS provides education, health, social and other services to approximately 950,000 refugees and internally displaced persons, more than half of whom are women. JRS services are provided to refugees regardless of race, ethnic origin or religious beliefs.

For further information
James Stapleton
International Communications Coordinator
Jesuit Refugee Service
Tel: +39 06 69868 468+39 06 69868 468; +39 346 234 3841+39 346 234 3841
james.stapleton@jrs.net
@JesuitRefugee
https://www.facebook.com/JesuitRefugeeService

Stanislaus Fernandes SJ
Director
Jesuit Refugee Service South Asia
Tel.: +91 986 886 2860+91 986 886 2860; +91 11 2463 5372+91 11 2463 5372
southasia.director@jrs.net





Press Contact Information
James Stapleton
international.communications@jrs.net
+39 06 69 868 468