CHICAGO/TORONTO/IRAQ: Statements from CPT and families of Fox, Loney, Kember and Sooden regarding their recent disappearances
1 December 2005
CHICAGO/TORONTO/IRAQ: Statements from CPT and families of Fox, Loney, Kember
and Sooden regarding their recent disappearances
CPT Iraq in Baghdad 07901-339-537
CPT in Canada 416-423-5525
CPT in United States 773-277-0253
Statement from Christian Peacemaker Teams:
"We are eager to have our four colleagues released. We were very distressed
to see the recent video of them. We hope that Harmeet Sooden, Jim Loney,
Norman Kember, and Tom Fox have been able to explain their work and their
opposition to the war and the occupation of Iraq.
"We are heartened by the many public statements of support from CPT's
friends in Iraq and from our partners in other parts of the world who join
us in this work for peace."
Statement from the family of Harmeet Sooden
"The family of Harmeet Sooden remains extremely concerned by events
surrounding his capture and are hoping for his immediate and safe return.
We wish to stress again, that he was in Iraq solely for peaceful purposes
and was passionate about taking an active role in giving humanitarian aid to
the Iraqi people. There were no other motives for him to go to Iraq.
Harmeet is a gentle person, softly spoken, and is an incredibly thoughtful
human being. He is an excellent squash player and artist. He is a
much-loved son, brother and uncle and an asset to his community and friends.
We ask that he be released to us safely as soon as possible."
Statement from the family and friends of James Loney
"We, the family and friends of James Loney, are proud of our son, brother,
uncle, and friend for his tireless work with the oppressed. We love him and
are praying for his safe return."
Statement from the family of Norman Kember
"Norman Kember, age 74, is one of the four people missing in Baghdad. He was
there for a short time to join a peace team talking and listening to people
of all persuasions. He believes that dialogue and not confrontation will
lead to reconciliation. He feels strongly that the occupation is a mistake.
He was in Iraq because of human rights abuses against the Iraqi people.
"He has been a pacifist all his life beginning with his work in a hospital
instead of National Service at age 18. Before his retirement he was a
professor of medical physics at St Bartholemew's Hospital in London. As a
well-known peace activist, he knows that many people are praying for his
early release. We are grateful for all the messages of support that we are
Statement from the daughter of Tom Fox
"I want to be able to communicate just how loved my father is, but more than
that, I just want to hug him. I want to find a way to give him back the
strength he has given me. I want to show him how much the peace in his
heart has inspired me and helped me find my way in life.
"My father made a choice to travel to Iraq and listen to those who are not
heard. His belief that peaceful resolutions can be found to every conflict
has been tested time and again, but he remains committed to that ideal,
heart and soul. This is very difficult for my brother and me. We want to
be with our dad again. I didn't want him to go to a country where his
American citizenship could potentially overshadow his peaceful reasons for
being there. But this is who my father is and I am strengthened by it. I
write this with the utmost respect and agreement with what he stands for.
"I love my father. I am so thankful to have been raised by such a loving,
honest, gentle man who continues to teach me the importance of living by my
principles. In pictures, in video, my dad looks so tired right now. So very
tired. I do not care to imagine. I struggle to even find the space to
experience my own emotions. I will continue to hold him and everyone that
he is with in the Light and pray for a peaceful resolution."
A note on Tom Fox's Career as a Musician in the Marine Band
Tom Fox was a music major in college. He graduated at the height of the
Viet Nam war in May of 1973. He was already opposed to war and was
unwilling to participate in the United States military actions in Viet Nam.
Tom auditioned and was accepted into the Marine Band, based in Washington
D.C. His playing in the band fulfilled his military obligation. Tom played
clarinet with the band as a professional musician in order to support his
family. He received no military training. He left the Marine Band to work
as a grocer.
The families of the four men currently missing in Iraq have asked that
their privacy be respected.