Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers
The Iraqi militant group holding a Christian peacemaker from the UK hostage and three others have threatened to kill them unless Iraqi prisoners are released by December 8, the TV station al Jazeera has said.
Norman Kember and an American hostage, seized last week, were shown speaking to the camera in what the channel said was a call for detainees to be released. It was not possible to hear what the men were saying.
Both are members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) which has actively campaigned against the detention of Iraqi prisoners, and against the invasion of Iraq.
Over the last few days the families of the hostages have highlighted their work to oppose the war and help those suffering as a result of the occupation of Iraq.
The tape also showed what the television station said were two Canadian hostages receiving food from their captors.
"They gave those concerned with the hostages until the 8th of this month before killing them if their demands are not met," the Arabic broadcaster said.
"They set as conditions that all detainees in the prisons of the collaborator Iraqi government are released and that all detainees are released from the prisons of the occupation (forces)," it added.
The Iraqi group, calling itself "Swords of Truth", said this week it had taken four Western hostages, accusing them of spying for foreign forces in Iraq.
The four hostages were seized in Baghdad last week.
But prominent Muslim clerics in the Arab world have called for their release, pointing out that the hostages have been campaigning for the rights of Iraqi detainees and that they vigorously opposed the invasion of Iraq.
[Also on Ekklesia: Christian peacemakers say coalition force causes Iraqi violence; Dossier on detainees presented to Iraqi authority; Christian peacemakers advised to leave Iraq; Christian peace activists launch in the UK; Christians challenge US claim about Iraqi torture; Christians aid Muslim nonviolence initiative in Iraq; Christian peacemakers question conduct of Iraq elections]