Saturday, January 28, 2006

Missing Peacemakers Alive in Iraq

We are so grateful and heartened to see James, Harmeet, Norman and Tom alive on the video tape dated January 21. This news is an answer to our prayers. We continue to hope and pray for their release. All of us in Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) remain very disturbed by the abduction of our teammates. We pray that those who hold them will host them with the grace that so many of us in CPT have received as guests in Iraq. James, Harmeet, Norman and Tom are peace workers who have not collaborated with the occupation of Iraq and who have worked for justice for all Iraqis, especially those detained. We continue to believe that what has happened to our teammates is the result of the actions of the U.S. and U.K. governments in their illegal attack on Iraq and the continuing occupation and oppression of its people. We continue to call for justice and human rights for all who are detained in Iraq. The innocent should not suffer in the place of those who have done wrong. CPT has organized public actions for peace and justice for Iraqi detainees. This weekend major events are scheduled for Washington DC, Toronto and Chicago.

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has long worked for the rights of Iraqi prisoners who have been illegally detained and abused. We were the first to publicly denounce the torture of Iraqi people at the hands of U.S. forces, long before the western media admitted what was happening at Abu Ghraib. We are among the few internationals left in Iraq working for human rights and peace. We hope that we can continue to do this work and we pray for the speedy release of our beloved teammates.

Christian Peacemaker Teams has been present in Iraq since October 2002, providing first-hand, independent reports from the region, working with detainees of both United States and Iraqi forces, and training others in non-violent intervention and human rights documentation. Christian Peacemaker Teams is a violence reduction program. Teams of trained peacemakers work in areas of lethal conflict around the world.

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