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Freed Hostage: Iraq Captors Not Criminals

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    Freed German Hostage Says Iraq Captors Not Criminals http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2005-12/27/article02.shtml They said we don t want money... Maybe
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2006
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      Freed German Hostage Says Iraq Captors Not Criminals
      http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2005-12/27/article02.shtml


      "They said we don't want money... Maybe we want from Germany ...
      hospitals and schools in the Sunni triangle," said Osthoff.


      DOHA, December 27, 2005 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - A former
      German hostage who spent 24 days in the hands of unknown captors in
      Iraq said Monday, December 26, her kidnappers were not criminals and
      had demanded humanitarian aid for Sunni Arab regions.

      Speaking to the Doha-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, Susanne
      Osthoff said her captors told her not to be afraid as her kidnapping
      was "politically motivated," reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

      "Do not be afraid. We do not harm women or children and you are a
      Muslim," she quoted them as saying.

      "I was so happy to know that I had not fallen into the hands of
      criminals," she said.

      Osthoff, 43, and her Iraqi driver Shalid al-Shamanic were seized on
      November 25 in Iraq's northwester Nineveh province. She was freed on
      December 18.

      She was the first German national to be kidnapped in Iraq. The
      kidnappers set an ultimatum of a few days for Germany to change its
      policy towards Baghdad as the price for Osthoff's release shortly
      after she was seized.

      A picture has emerged of her in the German press as a dedicated
      humanitarian and historian who was well aware of the risks of life in
      Iraq but remained because of her close ties to people there.

      No Ransom

      Osthoff, a Muslim revert and fluent Arabic speaker, said her captors
      demanded German humanitarian aid for Iraq's Sunni Arabs and stated
      clearly that they did not want a ransom.

      "They said we don't want money... Maybe we want from Germany ...
      hospitals and schools in the Sunni triangle (area northwest of
      Baghdad), and they would like to get money in the form of humanitarian
      aid," she said.

      The Sunni provinces in Iraq have been the target of massive US and
      Iraqi onslaughts that left entire villages in ruins and killed
      hundreds of people, including children and women, under the excuse of
      chasing down Al-Qaeda operative in Iraq Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and
      clamping down raging "insurgency."

      She described her captors as "poor people" and that she "cannot blame
      them for kidnapping her, as they cannot enter (Baghdad's heavily
      fortified) Green Zone to kidnap Americans."

      She said she lived with her captors in a clean place and that they
      treated her "well".

      She expressed her shock at Berlin's failure to contact her captors.

      "I could not believe that the Germans had not made any contact," with
      her kidnapers she said, describing her feelings during captivity.

      More than 200 foreigners have been kidnapped since the US
      invasion-turned-occupation of Iraq in March 2003. Fifty-two foreign
      hostages are known to have been killed by their captors.

      Abductions are blamed by US authorities on the ghostly Jordanian-born
      Zarqawi.

      Most Iraqi resistance groups always distance themselves from the
      grisly slaughter of hostages.

      One of two Italian hostages freed in Iraq said in October of last year
      that the Iraqi people "have every right to resist the US-led
      occupation forces until liberating their homeland."

      "You have to distinguish between terrorism and resistance. The
      guerrilla war is justified, but I am against the kidnapping of
      civilians," Simona Torretta had said.

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