New video shows British hostage

Click to follow

More than a month after Norman Kember's kidnappers offered a last chance to save the British peace activist from death, new footage has been released showing him alongside fellow captives.

In the brief, silent film - the sixth such video to be released since the 74-year-old was taken hostage in Baghdad - Mr Kember could be seen with his Canadian colleagues James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden. Ominously, however, there was no sign of a fourth captive, Tom Fox, an American.

Yesterday, fellow campaigners from their group, called the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT), said they were continuing to pray for the safe release of all the men, while reiterating their belief that "the occupation must end".

Mr Kember, a retired professor from Pinner, north-west London, who had travelled to Iraq with Mr Loney, 41, Mr Sooden, 32, and Mr Fox, 54, as a "gesture of solidarity", were kidnapped in western Baghdad on 26 November last year by a previously unknown group called the Swords of Righteousness Brigade. The group demanded the release of all Iraqi prisoners and threatened to kill their four hostages if the ultimatum was not met.

Last Sunday, supporters throughout Britain lit candles and said prayers while an hour-long vigil was held in Trafalgar Square to mark 100 days of captivity.

Yesterday's footage, dated 28 February and broadcast on the Arabic TV channel al-Jazeera, was said to contain pleas from the men for their governments to work for their release.

* Zalmay Khalilzad, America's ambassador in Baghdad, has acknowledged that the US invasion of Iraq three years ago had opened a "Pandora's box", that could see the country descend into full-scale civil war. That point had not yet been reached, he said, but "the potential is there".

Comments