Skip to comments.Two taken hostage in Iraq worked for Christian Peacemaker Teams Canada
Posted on 11/29/2005 7:10:28 AM PST by Valin
TORONTO -- A Christian peace workers' organization came forward late Monday, confirming that two of its members were the two Canadians taken hostage in Iraq. In its first public announcement since the kidnapping over the weekend, Christian Peacemaker Teams Canada said it will provide an update on the hostage-taking Tuesday. Efforts to negotiate the release of the two Canadians have been feverish, but there has been no indication the peace workers are any closer to freedom.
The organization, one of the few Western humanitarian organizations still in Iraq, has been extraordinarily careful in providing any information up until now, saying the lives of other members of its team in the wartorn country could be jeopardized. "Release of any details is really detrimental to people who are in danger," said a Toronto spokeswoman for Christian Peacemaker Teams Canada. "It could seriously hamper and put in jeopardy the lives of the people who have been kidnapped."
Four foreigners, all of whom worked for Christian Peacemaker Teams, were reported kidnapped at gunpoint in a dangerous neighbourhood in western Baghdad on Saturday. The United States embassy in Baghdad confirmed Monday that an American was missing but refused to provide a name. The British Foreign Office has identified one of the four as Norman Kember, 74, from London, a longtime peace activist.
Dan McTeague, the parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs, said the Canadian government had offered to do what it could but no request for assistance had been made. "The situation is very regrettable and is one that we are closely monitoring," McTeague said from Ottawa. "We are doing whatever we can to try to provide an outcome that would see them freed."
McTeague also refused to discuss any details of the kidnapping, or whether the kidnappers had made any demands. "We are working with local authorities and with the humanitarian agency for whom the four had worked," said McTeague. No one at the United Nations organization in Baghdad responsible for non-governmental aid agencies in Iraq was available to comment Monday.
Christian Peacemakers Team has had a presence in Iraq since October 2002 - before the invasion by the U.S.-led coalition. It has worked with detainees of both the United States and Iraqi forces. "We supported the weapons inspection programs as an alternative to war that seemed to be drumming up at that time," a spokeswoman said. "We've provided alternative reporting as the attacks started and the occupation has (occurred)." The hostage-taking was obviously distressing, she said.
Canada has no embassy in Iraq and is represented by a single diplomatic officer. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Monday he had been in touch with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hohshyar Zebari about Kember's abduction, and that Zebari "pledged every assistance from the Iraqi government."
Over the past two years, insurgents and militants in Iraq have seized more than 225 people and killed at least 38 of them, including aid workers and journalists.
© The Canadian Press 2005
In the past, haven't some of these leftists allowed themselves to be taken hostage in order to funnel the ransom money to the terrorists. I know that sounds paranoid, but that I think something along those lines has happened before in Iraq.
Odd that these "peace teams" seem to be always on the side of the insurgents, and anti-western apologists.
Odder still that now they are 'kidnapped' by their own side.
(May be a public-relations event. . . )
You're not paranoid.
Iraq: Adopt-a-Detainee Campaign
Other Human Rights Testimonies
Reports on Detainees
IRAQ: CPT announces closure of Adopt-a-Detainee campaign
[21 September 2005]
After a year and a half of coordinated advocacy for Iraqis detained by U.S. and other occupying forces, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is ending its Adopt-a-Detainee Letter-Writing Campaign. CPT's Iraq project will, however, continue to monitor the situation of Iraqis captured by the Multinational Force in Iraq (MNF) and by the new Iraqi Forces.
The Adopt-a-Detainee Letter-Writing Campaign, beginning in March 2004, matched individual detainees with congregations, mosques, synagogues, and peace groups in North America and around the world. These groups wrote letters to U.S., Iraqi and other relevant officials on the detainees' behalf. The campaign grew out of CPT's investigation of and reporting on abuses within the U.S.-run detention system in Iraq during the fall of 2003. The Adopt-a-Detainee Letter-Writing Campaign included a total of twenty-seven detainees, nine of whom U.S. officials released during the campaign, ten of whom were still detained at last word, and seven of whom U.S. officials never confirmed as detained (i.e., the "disappeared.")
During the campaign, at least 1,000 people and groups participated from Canada, France, Germany, India, Israel, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. CPT expresses its sincere gratitude to all of those who participated in the campaign in various ways.
Changes in administrations during the past two years--from the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, to the Interim Iraqi Government, to the current Transitional Iraqi Government--forced CPT to adapt its approach several times. While supportive of improvements made within the detention system in Iraq since the fall of 2003, CPT condemned the U.S. military's ongoing refusal to uphold basic human rights standards for the thousands of Iraqi detainees still in their custody.
Since the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis in June 2004, CPT has experienced U.S. officials in Iraq becoming increasingly unresponsive to appeals for reform, both from team members on location in Iraq and from letter-writers abroad.
Consequently, CPT members in Baghdad decided they needed to shift their immediate focus in order to continue toward their long-term goals of violence reduction and human rights for Iraqi detainees. While officially closing the Adopt-a-Detainee Letter-Writing Campaign, CPT in Iraq will continue to monitor the situation of Iraqi detainees and develop new strategies to reduce violence against the Iraqis still in detention.
These are the folks that want to adopt a detainee! Seems now they have been adopted.