British Cardinal Implores Mercy for Iraq Hostage

LONDON, NOV. 8, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor pleaded for the release of Margaret Hassan, a 59-year-old native of London and director in Iraq of CARE International, who was kidnapped Oct. 19 in Baghdad.

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Speaking on Saturday at the Churches Together in England forum at Stoke Rochford Hall, near Grantham in Lincolnshire, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor pleaded with the captors of Hassan to set her free.

The president of the bishops’ conference of England and Wales said: “I would like us to remember, at this point, Margaret Hassan, the charity worker who gave up her life in the service of the needy in Iraq, and whose fate at the hands of violent men remains today in the balance. I would like to add my voice and yours in an appeal to her captors to allow themselves to feel what she and her family must be now feeling, and practice the great Islamic virtue of mercy by setting her free.”

Videos of Hassan in captivity have been released, but no group has claimed responsibility for her abduction. In two of the videos, Hassan pleads for her life, saying she fears she will be beheaded.

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