The story of Kayla Mueller's torture and death at the hands of ISIS is a devastating one.
According to the NY Daily News, Kayla traveled to Aleppo, Syria, in 2013 with her boyfriend, Omar Alkhani, to help install hospital equipment. Alkhani was a contractor for the humanitarian organization, Doctors Without Borders, and Kayla had worked for a refugee charity in Turkey since 2012.
On the trip, Kayla was kidnapped by ISIS. For 18 months, she was reportedly tortured and raped by the terror group. She was even forced into sex slavery with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In February of 2015, the Obama administration confirmed that Kayla had died in a Jordanian airstrike. She was just 26 years old.
Now, Kayla's parents have come forward about Doctors Without Borders' refusal to help their daughter.
According to ABC News, the Muellers say Doctors Without Borders (known also as MSF) not only would not speak with them for months, but also apparently withheld pertinent information provided by other MSF hostages.
The parents have a recording of a phone call between themselves and MSF, in which a senior official says:
“So, the crisis management team that we have installed for our five people and that managed the case for our people will be closed down in the next week. Yeah? ... Because our case is closed.”
Carl Mueller had this to say about the organization and how they handled his daughter's case:
“They're a fabulous organization, and they do wonderful work,” Carl Mueller told ABC News' “20/20” in an interview to be broadcast this Friday, “but somewhere in a boardroom, they decided to leave our daughter there to be tortured and raped and ultimately murdered.”
MSF asserts that they could not help Kayla because she was not their employee. Jason Cone, MSF's U.S. executive director, maintains that Kayla's captivity was not the organization's “moral responsibility.”
MSF also argues that intervening during hostage situations could set a dangerous precedent, and said in a recent statement:
“If MSF were generally considered by would-be abductors to be a negotiator of release for non-MSF staff, there is no doubt that this would increase the risk levels in many locations, put our field staff, medical projects, and patients in danger, and possibly force us to close projects where needs are often acute.”
However, Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator claims MSF's rationale to not help Kayla is “frightening,” and to have helped her “would have cost them nothing.”
The social media reaction has been swift, with many openly disappointed by MSF's refusal:
Before Kayla's final, and ultimately fatal, trip to war-torn Syria, she told a local Kiwanis club, “it's really important sometimes to just stop and realize what we have, realize why we have it, realize how privileged we are. And from that place of knowing how blessed we are, start there. And if we start there, we'll do a lot of good.”