Wife of British hostage calls for his release, says he is Iraq's friend

The wife of a British hostage held in Iraq made an emotional appeal Sunday for his release, saying on Al-Jazeera television that her husband only to this country to help the Iraqi people.

Pat Kember, wife of Norman Kember, said her 74-year-old husband "is a very caring man" who wanted to help alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people.

Pat Kember, speaking English but with an Arabic voiceover, urged the kidnappers to release her husband and his colleagues so they could continue to work for peace in Iraq.

Kember, along with Tom Fox, 54, of Clear Brook, Virginia; James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, of Canada were taken hostage in Baghdad last week. The four members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams were taken by the previously unknown Swords of Righteousness Brigade.

The kidnappers have threatened to kill the hostages if Iraqi prisoners are not released from American and Iraqi jails by Dec. 8, Al-Jazeera reported.

Al-Jazeera is the only station that aired footage of the hostages while in custody.

So far, at least two Sunni leading organization, the Association of Muslim Scholars and the Iraqi Islamic Army have called for the release.

A spokeswoman for Christian Peacemaker Teams also appealed to the kidnappers to release the four.

Please release Norman and his friends in order for them to be able to continue their work for peace in Iraq. They are friends and allies who want to help you defeat evil by doing good work, Kember's wife said, AP reported. V.A.

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