6
Dez
2005

Call for Release of Peace Activists Held in Iraq

Published on Friday, December 2, 2005
by CommonDreams.org

Join Arundhati Roy, Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Cindy Sheehan, Denis Halliday, Rashid Khalidi, and Many Others in Calling for the Urgent Release of Peace Activists Held in Iraq

An Urgent Appeal Add your name at: http://www.freethecpt.org

Four members of Christian Peacemaker Teams http://www.cpt.org/ were taken this past Saturday, November 26, in Baghdad, Iraq. They are not spies, nor do they work in the service of any government. They are people who have dedicated their lives to fighting against war and have clearly and publicly opposed the invasion and occupation of Iraq. They are people of faith, but they are not missionaries. They have deep respect for the Islamic faith and for the right of Iraqis to self-determination.

C.P.T. first came to Iraq in October 2002 to oppose the US invasion, and it has remained in the country throughout the occupation in solidarity with the Iraqi people. The group has been invaluable in alerting the world to many of the horrors facing Iraqis detained in US-run prisons and detention centers. C.P.T. was among the first to document the torture occurring at the Abu Ghraib prison, long before the story broke in the mainstream press. Its members have spent countless hours interviewing Iraqis about abuse and torture suffered at the hands of US forces and have disseminated this information internationally.

Each of the four C.P.T. members being held in Iraq has dedicated his life to resisting the darkness and misery of war and occupation. Convinced that it is not enough to oppose the war from the safety of their homes, they made the difficult decision to go to Iraq, knowing that the climate of mistrust created by foreign occupation meant that they could be mistaken for spies or missionaries. They went there with a simple purpose: to bear witness to injustice and to embody a different kind of relationship between cultures and faiths. Members of C.P.T. willingly undertook the risks of living among Iraqis, in a common neighborhood outside of the infamous Green Zone. They sought no protection from weapons or armed guards, trusting in, and benefiting from, the goodwill of the Iraqi people. Acts of kindness and hospitality from Iraqis were innumerable and ensured the C.P.T. members' safety and wellbeing. We believe that spirit will prevail in the current situation.

We appeal to those holding these activists to release them unharmed so that they may continue their vital work as witnesses and peacemakers.

Signed,**

Arundhati Roy, author, The God of Small Things

Tariq Ali, author, Bush in Babylon

Denis Halliday, former U.N. Assistant Secretary General and Head of the U.N. Humanitarian Program in Iraq (1997-1998)

Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey Sheehan

Noam Chomsky, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Haifa Zangana, Iraqi novelist

Kamil Mahdi, Iraqi economist and anti-occupation activist. Lecturer, University of Exeter

Mahmood Mamdani, "Herbert Lehman Professor of Government," Columbia University

Rashid Khalidi, "Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies," Middle East Institute, Columbia University

Cindy and Craig Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie, killed by Israeli military

Hasan Abu Nimah, Permanent Representative of Jordan at the United Nations (1995-2000)

Ralph Nader, former independent presidential candidate

James Abourezk, former US Senator

Howard Zinn, historian

Naseer Aruri, Professor (Emeritus) University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence/Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

Naomi Klein, author/journalist

Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights

Rev. Daniel Berrigan, poet

Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, National Coordinator, Clergy and Laity Concerned about Iraq

Jeremy Scahill, independent journalist

Mazin Qumsiyeh, author, Sharing the Land Of Canaan, board member US Campaign to End the Occupation

Milan Rai, author, War Plan Iraq: Ten Reasons Against War on Iraq

Sam Husseini, writer

Dahr Jamail, independent journalist

Ali Abunimah, Co-founder, Electronic Iraq

Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator, United for Peace and Justice

Eve Ensler, author

Jennifer Harbury, Director, Stop Torture Permanently Campaign

Omar Diop, Président de la Coalition Sénégalaise des Défenseurs des Droits humains

Anthony Arnove, author, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal

Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange

G. Simon Harak, War Resisters League

Michael Albert, ZNet

Dave McReynolds, former Chair, War Resisters International

Bishop Gabino Zavala, President, Pax Christi USA

To add your name to this statement and to see the full list of initial signers: http://www.freethecpt.org

Contact: freethecpt@gmail.com

Organizations and institutions are listed for identification purposes only.


Informant: John Calvert
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