For Immediate Release January 26, 2015

Washington, DC – The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) sends its deepest condolences to the Japanese people after the recent killing of Haruna Yukawa by the Islamic State (ISIS). A video released online Saturday confirmed the killing and announced a new threat against fellow hostage Kenji Goto.

Japanese hostagesHaruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto The killing of civilians directly defies international humanitarian law. SAMS has seen international humanitarian and human rights law consistently violated in Syria through the targeting and killing of civilians, targeting of hospitals, denial of medical care, and more. Barrel bombs and indiscriminate attacks continue to put civilians at daily risk. SAMS stands with Japan and continues to call for the international community to enforce international humanitarian law and take substantive action to end attacks on all civilians.

Dr. Zaher Sahloul, President of SAMS, offers his condolences, saying, “We are saddened by the murder of an innocent Japanese victim by ISIS and pray for the release of Mr. Goto. We convey our condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the Japanese people.” SAMS thanks the country of Japan – which has contributed over $130 million in humanitarian assistance to Syria and surrounding refugee hosts countries – for its generosity to the people of Syria during the crisis, and stands in solidarity with the families of Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto in this time of grief.