Yesterday the Canadian government declared that two of its citizens, both humanitarian workers, had been abducted in Iraq. It decided to keep their identities secret for the time being. CBC News reported:
The Canadians were among four people – all humanitarian workers – who disappeared.
Media reports say the other two hostages are a British man believed to be in his 70s, and an American. A British Foreign Office spokeswoman has identified the missing Briton as Norman Kember.
Canada’s Defence Minister Bill Graham says the government will do everything it can to help free the hostages. He did not provide any details.
Foreign Affairs spokesperson Rodney Moore told CBC.ca on Monday that the department is “closely monitoring the situation.” It is “not giving any names,” of the individuals involved, he said, since “we have to respect the families” of the people taken hostage.
James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden, both members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams, were among four aid workers abducted Sunday at gunpoint, the organization confirmed in a statement late Tuesday.
Mr. Loney, 41, a community worker from Toronto, had spent many years working with the city’s homeless before joining the organization in 2000. He had been leading the group before he was abducted.
Mr. Sooden, 32, a Canadian electrical engineer, was described by his family as being “peaceful and fun-loving and he is known to be passionate about the plight of the underprivileged around the globe.”
p>Being part of a Christian
missionaries organization isn’t going to win them any points with these insurgents, but the fact that they are peace activists and probably support (I’m guessing) a withdrawal of troops would work in their favor you would think. What good does it do the insurgents to take these guys hostage?
According to the al-Jazeera report, a group calling itself the Swords of Righteousness Brigade claimed responsibility for the kidnappings and has accused the four of being spies working undercover as Christian peace activists.
Ahhh yes. Spies, spies everywhere. In response to two of their own being kidnapped, the Christian Peacemaker Teams organization released a statement:
We are angry because what has happened to our teammates is the result of the actions of the U.S. and U.K. governments due to the illegal attack on Iraq and the continuing occupation and oppression of its people. Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has worked for the rights of Iraqi prisoners who have been illegally detained and abused by the U.S. government.
At the very least I hope that message from the CPT falls on the ears of these clueless insurgents and gets these hostages released.