Christian Peacemaker Team hostages still alive

Here’s an update on a story I brought to your attention on December 9. It appears that the four Christian Peacemaker Team hostages were still alive as of January 21. The Globe and Mail reports, a video aired on the al-Jazeera network

showed the four CPT volunteers — Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Sooden, 32, together with Briton Norman Kember, 74, and American Tom Fox, 54 — standing against a white wall in a dark room, wearing ordinary clothing rather than the orange jumpsuits captives sometimes wear on such videotapes. They looked thin but otherwise healthy.…

Accompanying the video, dated Jan. 21, was the reiterated demand that, unless all Iraqi prisoners are set free, the four will be killed, al-Jazeera said.

The same demand was made a few weeks ago, when Dec. 10 was set as the deadline. Saturday’s broadcast marked the first time since then that word has surfaced of the four men, who were abducted Nov. 26.

“The group … said it was giving a last chance for its demands to be met,” al-Jazeera reported.

The four men are representative of many other men and women who are being held hostage in Iraq. Hostages sometimes vanish after an initial burst of publicity, so that it is impossible to know for certain whether they are alive or dead. But whenever I have information to share with you, I’ll post it.

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