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Peacemaking Canadian Christian Ex-Hostage Returns to Iraq

By Brian Hutt

11/23/2009 Iraq (Gospel Herald) – A Christian peace worker has returned to Iraq for the first time since he was freed from captivity four years ago.

Harmeet Singh Sooden, 36, is part of a Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) delegation that has been traveling through Iraqi Kurdistan for the last two weeks meeting representatives of human rights groups, NGOs, displaced people and government officials.

In 2005, Sooden was taken hostage by Islamic militants in Baghdad along with fellow CPT members Norman Kember from Britain, Jim Loney from Canada and Tom Fox from the United States. Fox was murdered just weeks before British forces freed the remaining three members on March 23, 2006.

CPT has been working in Iraq since 2002 and since 2006, the Kurdish north, where it is documenting the human rights situation following the influx of thousands of displaced people from southern and central Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. The ecumenical ministry warns that recent attacks by Turkey on border villages have displaced thousands more.

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