London: vigil for thousands held without trial in Iraq; kidnapped peace campaigners

 A vigil will be held in Trafalgar Square between 6 -7 pm tomorrow for all those held without trial in Iraq, and the kidnapped peace campaigners: Norman Kember, Harmeet Singh Sooden, Tom Fox and James Loney were kidnapped in Iraq. Nothing has been heard from the men since 8 December 2005 when the group holding them, the Swords of Truth Brigade threatened to kill them unless all Iraqi detainees were released. Earlier this week, Church leaders in the United States, including Bishop Gabino Zalva of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles, Rev Rob Edgar of the National Council of Churches and Rev Roy Medley, American Baptist Churches in the USA, supported by Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, issued a letter to President Bush and the US Congress in which they say: " We know that thousands of Iraqis have been held without charge since the war in Iraq began almost three years ago. Just as we fear for the safety of our Christian Peacemakers, we know that the Iraqi families of those detainees are also afraid. Their fears multiply when there are reports of abuse of detainees, whether by Iraqi or US forces. We believe there can be no end to the conflict in the Middle East so long as this practice continues. Detention without charge is a practice that cannot be allowed to continue, for it simply heightens the level of fear, and in our world today fear too often leads to further violence. "We continue to pray for the safety and release of our brothers with Christian Peacemaker Teams. We are grateful for the thousands of Muslims, in our own country and across the globe, who have taken some risk to denounce the kidnapping of these volunteers, and who remain steadfast in their call for peace. " For more information contact: Pax Christi 0208 203 4884 or Fellowship of Reconciliation 01865 748 796. Similar vigils continue around the country during the week ahead: Wednesday 1 February Venue: Bedford, John Bunyan Memorial Statue, Time: 11am - 1.00pm Contact 01767 651136 Saturday 4 February Venue: London, At the North End of Trafalgar Square, opposite St Martin in the Fields, Time: 3 - 4 pm Contact Pax Christi 0208203 4884 or FOR 01865 748 796 Sunday 5 February Venue: Southampton, Candle-lit Vigil at the Peace Fountain, Andrews Park, Time: 6.00 - 6.30pm Contact 023 8055 51

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