News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terroralqaedakidnappings — Viewing Item


Imprisoned women not freed as tensions grow

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)
   http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/09/22/iraq.intl/

http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/09/22/iraq.intl/

Tension grows over Iraq hostage

(CNN) -- The life of a British hostage was in the balance amid disputed reports that an Iraqi female prisoner may be freed.

A group loyal to terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has killed one American hostage, Eugene "Jack" Armstrong, and claims to have killed a second American, Jack Hensley.

Both men were taken hostage at the same time as the Briton, Kenneth Bigley.

In a message posted on an Islamic Web site, the Unification and Jihad group said Bigley also would be killed if the Britain failed to free female prisoners in two Iraqi jails, Abu Ghraib and Umm Qasr.

The U.S. military has said no women are being held at the two Iraqi jails and that two female scientists at undisclosed locations are the only women in detention.

Both Washington and London say they will not negotiate with kidnappers.

But a senior Iraqi justice ministry official said one of the women prisoners -- biological weapons scientist Dr. Rihab Rashid Taha al-Azawi, dubbed "Dr Germ" by her American captors -- might be freed as part of a scheduled review of her detention. (Full story)

"It is possible, God willing. Her case has been under review," the Iraqi official said. A U.S. military spokesman in Iraq confirmed that a review process was in place for "high value detainees."

However, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said Wednesday that neither of the two female prisoners would be released imminently, news agencies reported.

The wait for news of Bigley's fate came as a car bombing in Baghdad killed at least seven people and wounded 47. (Full story)

The family of Bigley, a 62-year-old engineer, has angrily accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair of failing to take steps to secure his release.

Bigley's brother said the initial reports that Taha might be freed had raised the family's hopes.

"It's a point in the right direction, that's for sure. It's what these people have been asking for," Paul Bigley told BBC radio. "Of course you live in hope, of course you do. But you have to be realistic. I know the Middle East all too well."

The Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday that Iraq's justice minister, Malik Dohan al-Hassan, would release Taha and hold a hearing on whether to release the second detained woman, Dr. Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, also a weapons scientist.

Al-Hassan told the newspaper: "It has nothing to do with the kidnapping. They have all been cooperative and we have decided to release them on bail.

"In the Huda Ammash case the Americans insist she should stay in detention and we said she should be released."

About 100 foreign nationals have been taken hostage since April of this year in Iraq, of whom about 30 have been killed. If Bigley were slain he would be the first British hostage to be killed.

A militant group has threatened to kill 10 Turkish workers unless their employer stops doing business in Iraq. The firm said on Tuesday it would do so.

A Turkish truck driver was freed on Tuesday, while the body of a second Turkish trucker was found.

Among other hostages still believed to be held are two French journalists and two female Italian aid workers.

A British Foreign Office spokesman said the UK government would look into reports of Taha's release "to establish the facts."

"The UK is not involved in the detentions. It's in the hands of the Iraqis and the Americans," a spokesman said.

Blair on Tuesday made the unusual step of phoning Bigley's family. While UK officials said they were using all possible channels to secure Bigley's release, a Foreign Office spokesman said the government would not give in to the kidnappers. (Full story)

Any possible deal to secure Bigley's freedom would be controversial in Britain, which has long refused to negotiate with hostage-takers.

CNN's European Political Editor Robin Oakley said the crisis had raised pressure on Blair, who faces his annual Labour Party's conference next week in Brighton.

Many party activists oppose the war in Iraq, and a recent poll showed that 70 percent of the country wanted British troops to return from Iraq after the scheduled Iraqi elections in January.

A candlelit vigil was held on Tuesday in Bigley's home city of Liverpool in a church near his mother, who was being comforted by Bigley's brother and son.

CNN's Caroline Faraj, Thaira al-Hilli, Bassem Muhy, Faris Qasira and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.



berg-beheading
Hassoun
jill_carroll
johnson-beheading
3 kidnapped in kabul { October 29 2004 }
6 egyptians 2 iraqis kidnapped in iraq { September 24 2004 }
Afghan militants threaten united nations hostages { November 1 2004 }
Aid worker hassan believed slain in video
Alqaeda says kills egypt envoy in iraq
Alqaeda website shows egyptian diplomat kidnapped { July 6 2005 }
Brits rescue peace activists held hostage in iraq
Egyptian diplomat kidnapped in iraq { July 23 2004 }
Egyptians and iraqis kidnapped { September 25 2004 }
Filipino hostage released in iraq after pullout { July 20 2004 }
Freed egyptian says treated well by iraqi captors
French journalist freed in iraq after 5 months
Hostage begs britain to pull its troops out { October 23 2004 }
Imprisoned women not freed as tensions grow
Iraqi militants free two hostages
Italian journalist held hostage pleads for life { February 16 2005 }
Italy horror at hostage execution
Japanese hostages freed { April 15 2004 }
Japanese south koreans kidnapped by iraqis { April 8 2004 }
Japanese studying depleted uranium taken hostage { April 12 2004 }
Jeffrey ake from indiana pleads for his life { April 14 2005 }
Kidnapped aid workers in afghanistan released
Kidnapped polish woman freed
Kidnappers snatch 2 americans 1 briton from homes
Marine in kidnap video charged with desertion { December 10 2004 }
Militants release video of japanese hostage { October 27 2004 }
Peace group kidnapped in iraq { October 2005 }
Philippines troops out of iraq
Ransom from italians seen as fueling crisis { September 29 2004 }
Second hostage killed in iraq
Six foreign truck drivers threatened with beheading
Tape of bigley decapitation posted on web
Third beheading was south korean who spoke arabic
Three headless bodies discovered north of baghdad
Three iraqi kurd hostages beheaded
Three members of allawi family abducted { November 10 2004 }
Video of 11 iraqi soliders executed posted on web
Video on web site shows beheading of man

Files Listed: 38



Correction/submissions

CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Archives
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple