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Pakistan

Employer Of Kidnapped Czech Tourist Appeals For Her Release

Kidnapped Czech Tourists: Employer Appeals For Releasei
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March 15, 2013
The employer of a Czech woman kidnapped in Pakistan has made a tearful appeal for her release. Hana Humpalova, 24, was kidnapped along with her friend Antonie Chrastecka on March 13 as they were traveling on a bus in Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan. Lenka Ficova, head of a Czech charity where Humpalova worked with mentally disabled adults, said she was praying tor Humpalova's release and appealed to the kidnappers "as Muslims" to return her unharmed. Balochistan has seen a number of kidnappings blamed on Islamist militants, separatist groups, and criminals.
WATCH: Employer Appeals For Tourist's Release

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Interview: Bus Driver Describes Abduction Of Two Czech Women In Pakistan

Two young Czech women were abducted on March 13 in Pakistan's restive Balochistan Province from a passenger bus. RFE/RL spoke to Manoo Khan, the bus driver, in Quetta.
By RFE/RL
PRAGUE -- The employer of a Czech woman kidnapped in Pakistan has made a tearful appeal for her release.

Hana Humpalova, 24, was kidnapped along with her friend Antonie Chrastecka on March 13 as they were traveling on a bus in Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan.

Lenka Ficova, head of the Czech charity We Are Open, where Humpalova worked with mentally disabled adults, said she was praying tor Humpalova's release and appealed to the kidnappers "as Muslims" to return her unharmed.

Ficova spoke to RFE/RL at the Prague cafe where Humpalova helps train people with special needs to work in the catering business.

"If I can say something to the people who are holding Hana: 'Return her to us. As Muslims, you know that what a woman wants, God wants, and I want you to return her to us. Don't harm her. Send her back alive and well. Because if you harm her, then know that Allah is just, and he will punish you.' That's all."

Hana Humpalova (left) and Antonie Chrastecka in a composite image taken from a website set up to support their plightHana Humpalova (left) and Antonie Chrastecka in a composite image taken from a website set up to support their plight
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Hana Humpalova (left) and Antonie Chrastecka in a composite image taken from a website set up to support their plight
Hana Humpalova (left) and Antonie Chrastecka in a composite image taken from a website set up to support their plight
Ficova said Humpalova had left March 1 for a monthlong trip to Iran, Pakistan, and India.

She described Humpalova as a bright, dedicated employee with an interest in yoga.

"Hanka, we're thinking of you, praying for you. Really, we want so much for you to come back to us safe and well," Ficova said. "We can help you with whatever you need when you get back. We miss you and we're keeping our fingers crossed for you."

Manoo Khan, the driver of the bus, earlier described the kidnapping to RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal.

"We started to travel from the [Iranian] border at around 3:30 p.m. and reached [the spot of the abduction] around 5:25 p.m.," he said "They waved at the bus from around 500 meters away [and ordered it] to stop. Two of them came from the right and five others from the left side. The five [who approached from the left] were wearing uniforms and the two [on the right side] were in plainclothes. One of them was holding a wireless set.

"I thought they were security men who were checking the bus. Then two of them came inside the bus and took the AK-47 away from the guard and had them all [the guard and the two Czech women] disembark the bus."

Khan said the kidnappers, who spoke to the women in English, took them in the direction of the border with Iran.

Balochistan has seen a number of kidnappings blamed on Islamist militants, separatist groups, and criminals.

The Czech Foreign Ministry has said it is working with Pakistani authorities to secure the women's release and that so far no ransom demand has been made.

Meanwhile, Czech supporters of the women have set up a page on Facebook and the Internet called "Hanka and Tonca Come Home."

Khudainoor Nasar of RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal and Kathleen Moore contributed to this report