Fears 'unfounded' over Iraq hostage negotiator - news from ekklesia

Fears 'unfounded' over Iraq hostage negotiator - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
16 Dec 2005

Fears 'unfounded' about Iraq hostage negotiator

-16/12/05

Ekklesia has been told that fears that an Iraqi hostage negotiator who reportedly made contact with the kidnappers of four Christian Peacemaker Teams workers had been abducted, are unfounded.

A source close to Ekklesia, which works in partnership with Christian Peacemaker Teams, has confirmed that there is in fact no such hostage negotiator.

The suggestion that a hostage negotiator had been kidnapped appeared in the Toronto Star.

Reporter Michelle Shephard said: ìA source told the Toronto Star the local negotiator has not been heard from since Thursday and had recently met face-to-face with members of the group believed to have kidnapped the activists.

The negotiator in question was not identified. It was suggested he was someone who had worked in the past on other high-profile kidnapping cases in the region.

Other negotiators had indicated that no-one had been able to make direct contact with the Swords of Truth Brigades through direct channels.

However a source has told Ekklesia that the claims that there was an unidentified negotiator and that he had gone missing were both unfounded.

Little is being said publicly about the situation of 41-year-old Jim Loney, fellow Canadian Harmeet Singh Sooden, aged 32, Briton Norman Kember, aged 74, and American Tom Fox, aged 54, since a second deadline set by the kidnappers passed last Saturday.

Security experts say that Baghdad remains a rumour-mill with much speculation and little hard information. Official envoys from Canada and Britain have recorded mixed results so far.

Experienced journalists such as the BBCís John Simpson suggest that the silence is likely to continue until well after the election period.

But those seeking the release of the CPT captives say that in the meantime, they are hoping and praying that no news is good news ñ citing the example of two kidnapped French journalists who were later released after appeals from Muslim supporters.

Liberal parliamentarian Dan McTeague, the parliamentary secretary responsible for Canadians abroad, said yesterday that he had heard nothing about the alleged abduction of a negotiator.

[Updated full chronological list of related articles on Ekklesia as of 16 December 2005 AM: Features - Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Christian peacemakers - a lesson to the peace movement (by Mark A. LeVine); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox). Advent hope for Iraq, captives and Limbaugh (Sojourners magazine); What on earth are we waiting for? (Simon Barrow, Advent and Iraq); A culture of Christian citizenship (Pat Gaffney, Pax Christi) News ñ Weblog latest; Fears expressed for Canadian hostage negotiator (above); Search goes on for missing Christian peace workers 16/12/05; UK envoy remains hopeful on Iraq captives 16/12/05; Muslim envoy to Iraq returns as al-Jazeera publicizes mercy pleas 14/12/05; Christian peacemakers demand entry to Guantanamo Bay 14/12/05; Canadian churches pray for missing peace activists 14/12/05; Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers; Praying for a miracle amid Iraq hostage silence 12/12/05; All faiths candlelit vigil in London for Norman Kember 12/12/05; Officials and families seek news on Iraq Christian peace workers 12/12/05; Lobbying goes on as Iraq hostage deadline passes 11/12/05; Hope continues as Iraq captive deadline looms 10/12/05; Embattled Hezbollah backs Iraq 'doves of peace' 09/12/05; UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives 09/12/05; Former Guantanamo Bay detainees call for release of Christian peacemakers 08/12/05; Jack Straw says he will talk on Iraq hostages 08/12/05; Abu Qatada pleas for Iraq captives as deadline is extended 08/12/05; Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox); Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]

Fears 'unfounded' about Iraq hostage negotiator

-16/12/05

Ekklesia has been told that fears that an Iraqi hostage negotiator who reportedly made contact with the kidnappers of four Christian Peacemaker Teams workers had been abducted, are unfounded.

A source close to Ekklesia, which works in partnership with Christian Peacemaker Teams, has confirmed that there is in fact no such hostage negotiator.

The suggestion that a hostage negotiator had been kidnapped appeared in the Toronto Star.

Reporter Michelle Shephard said: 'A source told the Toronto Star the local negotiator has not been heard from since Thursday and had recently met face-to-face with members of the group believed to have kidnapped the activists.

The negotiator in question was not identified. It was suggested he was someone who had worked in the past on other high-profile kidnapping cases in the region.

Other negotiators had indicated that no-one had been able to make direct contact with the Swords of Truth Brigades through direct channels.

However a source has told Ekklesia that the claims that there was an unidentified negotiator and that he had gone missing were both unfounded.

Little is being said publicly about the situation of 41-year-old Jim Loney, fellow Canadian Harmeet Singh Sooden, aged 32, Briton Norman Kember, aged 74, and American Tom Fox, aged 54, since a second deadline set by the kidnappers passed last Saturday.

Security experts say that Baghdad remains a rumour-mill with much speculation and little hard information. Official envoys from Canada and Britain have recorded mixed results so far.

Experienced journalists such as the BBC's John Simpson suggest that the silence is likely to continue until well after the election period.

But those seeking the release of the CPT captives say that in the meantime, they are hoping and praying that no news is good news - citing the example of two kidnapped French journalists who were later released after appeals from Muslim supporters.

Liberal parliamentarian Dan McTeague, the parliamentary secretary responsible for Canadians abroad, said yesterday that he had heard nothing about the alleged abduction of a negotiator.

[Updated full chronological list of related articles on Ekklesia as of 16 December 2005 AM: Features - Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Christian peacemakers - a lesson to the peace movement (by Mark A. LeVine); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox). Advent hope for Iraq, captives and Limbaugh (Sojourners magazine); What on earth are we waiting for? (Simon Barrow, Advent and Iraq); A culture of Christian citizenship (Pat Gaffney, Pax Christi) News - Weblog latest; Fears expressed for Canadian hostage negotiator (above); Search goes on for missing Christian peace workers 16/12/05; UK envoy remains hopeful on Iraq captives 16/12/05; Muslim envoy to Iraq returns as al-Jazeera publicizes mercy pleas 14/12/05; Christian peacemakers demand entry to Guantanamo Bay 14/12/05; Canadian churches pray for missing peace activists 14/12/05; Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers; Praying for a miracle amid Iraq hostage silence 12/12/05; All faiths candlelit vigil in London for Norman Kember 12/12/05; Officials and families seek news on Iraq Christian peace workers 12/12/05; Lobbying goes on as Iraq hostage deadline passes 11/12/05; Hope continues as Iraq captive deadline looms 10/12/05; Embattled Hezbollah backs Iraq 'doves of peace' 09/12/05; UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives 09/12/05; Former Guantanamo Bay detainees call for release of Christian peacemakers 08/12/05; Jack Straw says he will talk on Iraq hostages 08/12/05; Abu Qatada pleas for Iraq captives as deadline is extended 08/12/05; Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox); Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]

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