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Relief at release of Harmeet Sooden

24 March 2006

Relief at release of Harmeet Sooden

News that New Zealand resident Harmeet Sooden has been freed from captivity in Iraq after four months is being greeted with pleasure and relief by the Green Party, according to Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Keith Locke.

"It is wonderful that Mr Sooden has finally been released safely, after a long and harrowing ordeal for himself and his friends and family," Mr Locke says.

"The Greens, and all New Zealanders, have been following his case with great concern, and it is such a relief to see his ordeal end in his safe release.

"Of course this good news is tempered by the fact that his companion, Tom Fox, did not survive, and our thoughts are also with his family, who will not be enjoying a reunion with their loved one.

"Mr Sooden and the Christian Peacemaker Teams organisation are to be commended for the tireless work they have done to promote human rights and justice in Iraq. The fact that Mr Sooden was such an avid peace campaigner made his capture all the more distressing.

"The Greens wish to extend their support to Christian Peacemaker Teams and to other peace groups in New Zealand and around the world who have worked so hard for the last four months to secure his release," Mr Locke says.


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