Norman Kember's wife in new TV appeal to Iraq captors - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
January 6, 2006

Norman Kember's wife in new TV appeal to Iraq captors

-06/01/06

Pat Kember, wife of 74-year-old Dr Norman Kember, one of four Christian peace workers kidnapped outside a mosque in Baghdad, Iraq, on 26 November 2005, has issued a further appeal for his release through the Arabic TV station al-Jazeera.

Mrs Kember stresses that her husband, a retired doctor, went to Iraq to support the people there, along with three other activists ñ Tom Fox, Jim Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden.

She says that she is worried about his health, that the abduction is badly effecting the family, and that Dr Kemberís grandson is constantly asking where he is.

The families of the four men have issued several appeals across Iraq by newspaper, radio and television over the Christmas holiday season.

The Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) workers have received unprecedented backing from Muslim leaders and Islamic militants throughout the world, including Abu Qatada.

Senior Muslim organisations in Canada and Britain have sent envoys to express solidarity and to help with the search for the men.

CPT has been working in Iraq for two years, and has campaigned actively on behalf of Iraqi detainees being held by the coalition forces. It also opposes war and occupation.

The organisation has launched a fresh initiative over Epiphany this weekend. A vigil is being held outside the White House in Washington DC to highlight the plight of the men, and all detainees and abductees in Iraq.

Christian Peacemaker Teams is also seeking a direct meeting with President George W. Bush to try to impress upon him the dire consequences of current western policy in Iraq for peace, justice and human rights.

Meanwhile vigils for the CPT captives continue to be held around the world. In London a further silent witness for them, and especially for Norman Kember, will be held from 3-4pm (local time) in Londonís Trafalgar Square on Saturday 7 January 2006.

Christians, Muslims, and those of all faiths and none are encouraged to attend, as they have since the series of ever-ten-day vigils began.

In her new broadcast message, translated into Arabic, Pat Kember describes her husband as ìa peaceful manî.

She says: ìI know that Norman would like to continue charity work in the future. But I want him to return home soon. We need him here, all of his friends and family.î

Mrs Kember says their grandson, Ben, ìkeeps askingî when his grandfather will come back home.

ìI would like to finish with what little Ben has said,î she added. ìMy grandpa will come home. He will knock on the door and then rush to the bedroom, wear his pyjamas, sleep and start snoring.î

The British Foreign Office says it has no news of Dr Kember. Nothing has been heard of the four men since 8 December 2005.

Christian Peacemaker Teams told Ekklesia yesterday that press speculation by security analysts about who was holding them and why was unhelpful to the menís cause.

A group called Swords of Truth (Righteousness) Brigades claimed responsibility for the abduction. But their identity is otherwise unknown, and there has been no public contact with them, though it is believed that they are seeing the Arabic TV reports and appeals.

[Also on Ekklesia: Regular updates on FaithInSociety weblog; Latest: New London vigil for Norman Kember announced 04/01/06; Christian Peacemaker Teams seek meeting with President Bush 04/01/06 (includes complete index of related articles on this site); Speculation continues over kidnapped peace workers in Iraq 04/01/06; Middle East Christians and Muslims renew plea for Iraq captives 01/01/06; Baptists urge support for Norman Kember 31/12/05; Vigils go on for Christian Peacemaker Teams hostages in Iraq 30/12/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]

Norman Kember's wife in new TV appeal to Iraq captors

-06/01/06

Pat Kember, wife of 74-year-old Dr Norman Kember, one of four Christian peace workers kidnapped outside a mosque in Baghdad, Iraq, on 26 November 2005, has issued a further appeal for his release through the Arabic TV station al-Jazeera.

Mrs Kember stresses that her husband, a retired doctor, went to Iraq to support the people there, along with three other activists - Tom Fox, Jim Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden.

She says that she is worried about his health, that the abduction is badly effecting the family, and that Dr Kember's grandson is constantly asking where he is.

The families of the four men have issued several appeals across Iraq by newspaper, radio and television over the Christmas holiday season.

The Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) workers have received unprecedented backing from Muslim leaders and Islamic militants throughout the world, including Abu Qatada.

Senior Muslim organisations in Canada and Britain have sent envoys to express solidarity and to help with the search for the men.

CPT has been working in Iraq for two years, and has campaigned actively on behalf of Iraqi detainees being held by the coalition forces. It also opposes war and occupation.

The organisation has launched a fresh initiative over Epiphany this weekend. A vigil is being held outside the White House in Washington DC to highlight the plight of the men, and all detainees and abductees in Iraq.

Christian Peacemaker Teams is also seeking a direct meeting with President George W. Bush to try to impress upon him the dire consequences of current western policy in Iraq for peace, justice and human rights.

Meanwhile vigils for the CPT captives continue to be held around the world. In London a further silent witness for them, and especially for Norman Kember, will be held from 3-4pm (local time) in London's Trafalgar Square on Saturday 7 January 2006.

Christians, Muslims, and those of all faiths and none are encouraged to attend, as they have since the series of ever-ten-day vigils began.

In her new broadcast message, translated into Arabic, Pat Kember describes her husband as 'a peaceful man'.

She says: 'I know that Norman would like to continue charity work in the future. But I want him to return home soon. We need him here, all of his friends and family.'

Mrs Kember says their grandson, Ben, 'keeps asking' when his grandfather will come back home.

'I would like to finish with what little Ben has said,' she added. 'My grandpa will come home. He will knock on the door and then rush to the bedroom, wear his pyjamas, sleep and start snoring.'

The British Foreign Office says it has no news of Dr Kember. Nothing has been heard of the four men since 8 December 2005.

Christian Peacemaker Teams told Ekklesia yesterday that press speculation by security analysts about who was holding them and why was unhelpful to the men's cause.

A group called Swords of Truth (Righteousness) Brigades claimed responsibility for the abduction. But their identity is otherwise unknown, and there has been no public contact with them, though it is believed that they are seeing the Arabic TV reports and appeals.

[Also on Ekklesia: Regular updates on FaithInSociety weblog; Latest: New London vigil for Norman Kember announced 04/01/06; Christian Peacemaker Teams seek meeting with President Bush 04/01/06 (includes complete index of related articles on this site); Speculation continues over kidnapped peace workers in Iraq 04/01/06; Middle East Christians and Muslims renew plea for Iraq captives 01/01/06; Baptists urge support for Norman Kember 31/12/05; Vigils go on for Christian Peacemaker Teams hostages in Iraq 30/12/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]

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