This is an update to an earlier JMBzine post — an online petition calling for the release of the hostages

Here’s the text of the petition with the initial signers…

An Urgent Appeal: Please Release Our Friends in Iraq

Four members of Christian Peacemaker Teams were taken this past Saturday, November 26, in Baghdad, Iraq. They are not spies, nor do they work in the service of any government. They are people who have dedicated their lives to fighting against war and have clearly and publicly opposed the invasion and occupation of Iraq. They are people of faith, but they are not missionaries. They have deep respect for the Islamic faith and for the right of Iraqis to self-determination.

C.P.T. first came to Iraq in October 2002 to oppose the US invasion, and it has remained in the country throughout the occupation in solidarity with the Iraqi people. The group has been invaluable in alerting the world to many of the horrors facing Iraqis detained in US-run prisons and detention centers. C.P.T. was among the first to document the torture occurring at the Abu Ghraib prison, long before the story broke in the mainstream press. Its members have spent countless hours interviewing Iraqis about abuse and torture suffered at the hands of US forces and have disseminated this information internationally.

Each of the four C.P.T. members being held in Iraq has dedicated his life to resisting the darkness and misery of war and occupation. Convinced that it is not enough to oppose the war from the safety of their homes, they made the difficult decision to go to Iraq, knowing that the climate of mistrust created by foreign occupation meant that they could be mistaken for spies or missionaries. They went there with a simple purpose: to bear witness to injustice and to embody a different kind of relationship between cultures and faiths. Members of C.P.T. willingly undertook the risks of living among Iraqis, in a common neighborhood outside of the infamous Green Zone. They sought no protection from weapons or armed guards, trusting in, and benefiting from, the goodwill of the Iraqi people. Acts of kindness and hospitality from Iraqis were innumerable and ensured the C.P.T. members’ safety and wellbeing. We believe that spirit will prevail in the current situation.

We appeal to those holding these activists to release them unharmed so that they may continue their vital work as witnesses and peacemakers.


# Arundhati Roy, author, The God of Small Things
# Tariq Ali, author, Bush in Babylon
# Denis Halliday, former U.N. Assistant Secretary General and Head of the U.N. Humanitarian Program in Iraq (1997-1998)
# Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey Sheehan
# Noam Chomsky, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
# Haifa Zangana, Iraqi novelist
# Kamil Mahdi, Iraqi economist and anti-occupation activist. Lecturer, University of Exeter
# Mahmood Mamdani, “Herbert Lehman Professor of Government,” Columbia University
# Rashid Khalidi, “Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies,” Middle East Institute, Columbia University
# Cindy and Craig Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie, killed by Israeli military
# Hasan Abu Nimah, Permanent Representative of Jordan at the United Nations (1995-2000)
# Ralph Nader, former independent presidential candidate
# James Abourezk, former US Senator
# Howard Zinn, historian
# Naseer Aruri, Professor (Emeritus) University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
# Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence/Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
# Naomi Klein, author/journalist
# Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights
# Rev. Daniel Berrigan, poet
# Jeremy Scahill, independent journalist
# Mazin Qumsiyeh, author, Sharing the Land Of Canaan, board member US Campaign to End the Occupation
# Milan Rai, author, War Plan Iraq: Ten Reasons Against War on Iraq
# Sam Husseini, writer
# Dahr Jamail, independent journalist
# Ali Abunimah & Nigel Parry, Co-founders, Electronic Iraq
# Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator, United for Peace and Justice
# Eve Ensler, author
# Jennifer Harbury, Director, Stop Torture Permanently Campaign
# Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Detroit
# Anthony Arnove, author, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal
# Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange
# G. Simon Harak, SJ, War Resisters League
# David Hartsough, Co-Founder and Capacity Building Director of Nonviolent Peaceforce and Executive Director of Peaceworkers. Nonviolent Peace Force
# Blase Bonpane, Office of the Americas
# Carol Bragg, Coordinator, Rhode Island Peace Mission
# Rev. Richard Deats, former Executive Secretary and Fellowship Editor, Fellowship of Reconciliation
# Omar Diop, Président de la Coalition Sénégalaise des Défenseurs des Droits humains
# Jim Forest, Secretary, The Orthodox Peace Fellowship
# Thomas C. Cornell, The Catholic Worker
# David Grant, Nonviolent Peaceforce
# Ted Lewis, Global Exchange
# Charles Jenks, Chair of Advisory Board, Traprock Peace Center
# Jeff Leys, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
# Andréa Schmidt, independent journalist
# Michael Albert, ZNet
# Richard McDowell, Senior Fellow for Iraq Policy, Friends Committee on National Legislation
# Dave McReynolds, former Chair, War Resisters International
# Peter Lems, Program Associate for Iraq, American Friends Service Committee
# Kevin Zeese, Director, Democracy Rising
# Sunny Miller, Director, Traprock Peace Center
# Dave Robinson, Director, Pax Christi USA
# Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, National Coordinator, Clergy and Laity Concerned about Iraq
# David Swanson, Co-Founder, After Downing Street, Board Member Progressive Democrats of America, Washington Director
# Mary Trotochaud, Senior Fellow for Iraq Policy, Friends Committee on National Legislation
# Michael Birmingham, activist
# Barbara Wien, Co-Director, Peace Brigades International/USA
# Bishop Gabino Zavala, President, Pax Christi USA

**Organizations and institutions are listed for identification purposes only

Contact: freethecpt(at)

Please consider signing this petition. The CPTers are good people.