UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives - news from ekklesia

UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
9 Dec 2005

UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives

-09/12/05

Dismayed by the recent wave of kidnappings in Iraq, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all those abducted and strongly reiterated his appeal to all sides to respect at all times the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law.

In a statement issued by the United Nations News Centre, Mr Annan said he was ìextremely concernedî about the fate of all Iraqi and foreign civilians who have been kidnapped, including the group of four foreign hostages whose lives are being threatened.

Meanwhile, the hostage negotiator for the four Christian Peacemaker Team associates being held in Iraq, says he hopes mounting pressure from both the Arab world and the international community will persuade the captors to change their demands.

Anas Al-Tikriti is an Iraqi-born Muslim leader from the UK. He has been brought in by anti-war and Muslim groups to assist talks with the kidnappers and those who can influence them.

The CPT hostages are Harmeet Singh Sooden, a 32-year-old Canadian citizen and resident of New Zealand; American Tom Fox, aged 54; Briton Norman Kember, aged 74; and Canadian James Loney, aged 41.

Mr Al-Tikriti yesterday told New Zealand National Radio's Nine to Noon that even though the deadline for execution had been extended, it was important that he continued to stress that their demand of releasing Iraqi detainees would not be gained by killing innocents.

However, a Canadian spokesperson for Christian Peacemaker Teams said he believed there had been no direct contact yet with the Sword of Righteousness (Truth) Brigade.

Mr Sooden's brother-in-law, Mark Brewer, has said that the Canadian authorities in Baghdad make a daily courtesy call, but often they have no information to pass on.

In other developments, just a week before Iraqis go to the polls to choose a permanent assembly and a new government, Kofi Annanís Special Representative in Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, met with the war-torn countryís top Shiite Muslim cleric to discuss the world bodyís role.

Mr Qazi briefed Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the holy city of Najaf on the UN Missionís work towards facilitating the 15 December elections through its technical advice to the Independent Electoral Commission (IECI).

They also discussed the Missionís role in the national reconciliation conference that is to take place early next year.

They agreed on the need for the vote to be free from violence and intimidation, to be inclusive, transparent and fair, as well as on the need to focus on confidence-building measures that can pave the way towards national reconciliation among all Iraqis.

Petition for the release of the four.

[Full and chronological related articles on Ekklesia: 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); 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]

UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives

-09/12/05

Dismayed by the recent wave of kidnappings in Iraq, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all those abducted and strongly reiterated his appeal to all sides to respect at all times the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law.

In a statement issued by the United Nations News Centre, Mr Annan said he was 'extremely concerned' about the fate of all Iraqi and foreign civilians who have been kidnapped, including the group of four foreign hostages whose lives are being threatened.

Meanwhile, the hostage negotiator for the four Christian Peacemaker Team associates being held in Iraq, says he hopes mounting pressure from both the Arab world and the international community will persuade the captors to change their demands.

Anas Al-Tikriti is an Iraqi-born Muslim leader from the UK. He has been brought in by anti-war and Muslim groups to assist talks with the kidnappers and those who can influence them.

The CPT hostages are Harmeet Singh Sooden, a 32-year-old Canadian citizen and resident of New Zealand; American Tom Fox, aged 54; Briton Norman Kember, aged 74; and Canadian James Loney, aged 41.

Mr Al-Tikriti yesterday told New Zealand National Radio's Nine to Noon that even though the deadline for execution had been extended, it was important that he continued to stress that their demand of releasing Iraqi detainees would not be gained by killing innocents.

However, a Canadian spokesperson for Christian Peacemaker Teams said he believed there had been no direct contact yet with the Sword of Righteousness (Truth) Brigade.

Mr Sooden's brother-in-law, Mark Brewer, has said that the Canadian authorities in Baghdad make a daily courtesy call, but often they have no information to pass on.

In other developments, just a week before Iraqis go to the polls to choose a permanent assembly and a new government, Kofi Annan's Special Representative in Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, met with the war-torn country's top Shiite Muslim cleric to discuss the world body's role.

Mr Qazi briefed Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the holy city of Najaf on the UN Mission's work towards facilitating the 15 December elections through its technical advice to the Independent Electoral Commission (IECI).

They also discussed the Mission's role in the national reconciliation conference that is to take place early next year.

They agreed on the need for the vote to be free from violence and intimidation, to be inclusive, transparent and fair, as well as on the need to focus on confidence-building measures that can pave the way towards national reconciliation among all Iraqis.

Petition for the release of the four.

[Full and chronological related articles on Ekklesia: 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); 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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