ISM release on CPTers in Iraq
from International Solidarity Movement - 01.12.2005 11:30
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEAS FROM ISM MEDIA OFFICE _ RAMALLAH
Two of the four Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) hostages in Iraq of whom a video was released today have been in Palestine working as Palestinian Solidarity activists.
Tom Fox (54) worked with CPT Hebron and participated in demonstrations against the apartheid Wall in Jayyous. Harmeet Sooden (32) a Canadian citizen who had been living in New Zealand, came to Palestine to join the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in December 2004 and stayed until January 2005. He worked in solidarity with local Palestinian people, mostly in Nablus and Jenin. While in Jenin, he worked with a group of ISM activists who planted Olive trees on the 'Swithart' farm outside Jenin, He was committed to come to Palestine for three months to join the ISM again at the beginning of December 2005 as a long term activist for the liberation of Palestine from Israeli occupation, but first decided to join a two week CPT delegation to Iraq.
Palestinians in Ramallah will hold a demonstration tomorrow in solidarity with all four kidnapped peace activists and to appeal for their release. The demonstration will be attended by notable Palestinian religious and resistance figures.
In an email to his friends Harmeet described the purpose of the four-person team's work in Iraq as: "providing humanitarian aid in the form of training and documentation of non-violent responses to lethal inter-group conflict. We will also record the current conditions in Iraq, meeting with representatives of NGOs, Christian and Muslim clerics, Iraqi human rights groups and others". He also recounted a story from Iraq: "A little 3-year old girl, Alaa, ran up to me and gave me a big hug me yesterday. She reminds me of my niece. She, however, does not see as my niece sees. She sustained severe shrapnel injuries to her abdomen and micro-fragments peppered her eyes, face and body during a US military attack in May on al Qaim, Iraq. Her mother lost an eye. She lost two brothers and several other relatives".
Some of his friends who worked with Harmeet in the ISM appealed to the kidnappers for his release
For more information:
ISM Media office: 02 297 1824
For pictures of all four people kidnapped: