Video: Hostage Margaret Hassan Begs for Release
Margaret Hassan, the British aid worker being held hostage in Iraq, was seen pleading for the release of all female prisoners in Iraq, in a new video released through al-Jazeera last night. The screening came within hours of the first deployment of troops from the Black Watch regiment as they left their base in Basra to head towards their controversial posting south of Baghdad. In the latest video, Mrs Hassan, the British director of Care International in Iraq, sits in a dimly lit room as she can be heard pleading for Britain to withdraw troops in an alarming, repeated refrain. The 59-year-old former English teacher also begs the aid organisation Care to close its offices in Iraq, and for the release of female Iraqi detainees. “Please don’t bring the soldiers to Baghdad … please, on top of that, please release the women prisoners from prisons,” she said. The plea is similar to that made by Ken Bigley shortly before his murder earlier this month after his kid napping. Looking weary, Mrs Hassan spoke directly into the camera through tears.
Care International had already suspended its work in the country after Mrs Hassan’s seizure. Yesterday saw Action Against Hunger, a Paris-based humanitarian organisation, also suspend operations in Iraq because of the deteriorating security situation. The Foreign Office last night said: “We will consider very carefully what response to make, if any, to this latest video.”
Mrs Hassan, who also holds Iraqi and Irish citizenship, was kidnapped on her way to work in Baghdad a week ago. Although born in Dublin, she is married to an Iraqi and has lived in the country for more than 30 years. She holds both British and Iraqi nationality.
Iraqi-British hostage Margaret Hassan again urged Britain to withdraw its troops from Iraq and also to free Iraqi women prisoners, Al Jazeera television reported on Wednesday. The Arab channel aired a video showing Hassan, an aid worker who was seized by unknown kidnappers in Baghdad a week ago, standing in a dimly lit room. “Please release the women prisoners from the prison in Iraq,” said a tired looking Hassan, director of the Care International charity in Iraq, in her second such appeal and third video appearance. Her other comments were barely audible. But Al Jazeera said Hassan appealed to British Prime Minister Tony Blair to withdraw troops from Iraq and not deploy them in Baghdad.
The television said Hassan also asked Care International employees to end their operations in Iraq. The charity suspended its work in the country after Hassan was kidnapped. In London, a Foreign Office spokesman said: “We will consider very carefully what response, if any, to make to this latest video.”
Earlier this month, militants from al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s group beheaded British national Kenneth Bigley after releasing similarly desperate videos in which he pleaded for Blair to meet the demands of his captors. Unlike Bigley’s case, Hassan’s captors have not identified themselves, made any direct demands, or appeared in the three videos taken of Hassan after her capture. In all three videos, Hassan appeared wearing civilian clothes and not an orange jumpsuit — which militants of Al Qaeda Organization of Holy War in Iraq had forced several hostages to wear before decapitating them.
Hostage issues new plea (UPI)
British hostage Margaret Hassan, in a new tape aired Wednesday, again pleaded for British Prime Minister Tony Blair to withdraw his troops from Iraq. In the video aired over the al-Jazeera TV, she also asked for the release of all female Iraqi prisoners and for CARE International to close its offices, Sky News reported. The tape came as British troops moved north toward Baghdad to take part in a U.S.-requested operation. Hassan, who heads the CARE International charity in Iraq, was kidnapped a week ago while driving to work in Baghdad. No group has yet claimed responsibility.
Kidnapped CARE woman shows up in another video (Japan Today)
A kidnapped British aid worker made another plea for her life in a video aired Wednesday, urging Britain to withdraw troops from the country as some 800 British soldiers headed north toward Baghdad to bolster U.S. forces. The tape broadcast on Al-Jazeera television showed a distraught Margaret Hassan, the 59-year-old head of CARE International in Iraq, blinking back tears as she spoke.
This process of having the hostages beg on television adds to the depravity of the terrorists. At some point, one would think the hostages would just tell them to go to hell, since it’s merely demeaning without contributing to their release. In this case, the British troops are now headed to Baghdad, probably with more resolve than ever.
UPDATE (11/16): Sadly, Mrs. Hassan has been murdered by these savages: Video: Margaret Hassan Murdered