WJC at UNHRC │ Sister of Hamas Hostage Advocates for the Unconditional Release of Captives - World Jewish Congress

WJC at UNHRC │ Sister of Hamas Hostage Advocates for the Unconditional Release of Captives

GENEVA – The World Jewish Congress has been active at the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva working to focus global attention on the plight of the remaining hostages being held in Gaza by Hamas.

Speaking on behalf of the WJC, following Nova Festival survivor Jenny Sividia, Yarden Gonen called on member-state representatives to bring about the immediate release of the hostages, including her sister Romi.

Full text of statement:

Mr. President,   

My name is Yarden Gonen and I am honored to make this statement on behalf of the World Jewish Congress.

My sister Romi, who is 23 years old, is currently a hostage in Gaza. I am here today representing the 134 hostages, 19 of them women, that are still held in captivity by Hamas terrorists.   

On October 7th we received a call from my sister, who was supposed to celebrate in a festival of love and peace, saying that they were ambushed by terrorists, that her best friend had been murdered, and that she was shot and bleeding.

Shortly after that, Romi was kidnapped and trafficked into the hands of Hamas.

For the last 173 days, my sister and the other 18 young women have been held incommunicado in a dark, suffocating tunnel by the ones who did all those horrifying things on October 7th. 

They are being used as slaves, dressed as dolls.

They are being sexually abused.

They are being exploited.

Mr. President, a recent UN report acknowledged the severe gender-based violence that took place on October 7th and continues to take place in captivity.

This is a gross violation of everything humanity is supposed to be built on.

All the hostages should be released immediately and unconditionally! 

You wouldn't want it to happen to your own loved ones, why are you letting it happen to my sister? 

Bring them home now!

I thank you.

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