Saturday, August 04, 2007

Chimes of Freedom: Ring Them For The Forgotten South Korean Christian Hostages

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Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless seeking trail
For the lonesome hearted lovers with too personal a tale
And for each unharmful gentle soul, misplaced inside a jail
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing...

Ignored. Suffering. Praying. Not that the world seems to care, but there was a funeral in Seoul today for executed South Korean Christian missionary, Shim Sung-min, the second Korean hostage killed by Taliban militants last month. Hundreds attended the service. 21 South Korean Christians remain in captivity and under threat of execution. Yonhap reports that Shim’s fellow parishioners went to an Islamic mosque to beg Muslims for help in freeing the remaining hostages. Meantime, there’s a US-Afghanistan summit this weekend. Karzai will be meeting with President Bush at Camp David. The Taliban kidnappers are watching...

A woman said by the Taliban to be one of its hostages pleaded for the group to be saved, saying they were ill and finding it hard to survive. "I don't want to die. We want to go home," the woman said in English after making remarks in the Dari language in a call set up by Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi.
"I don't know how long we can survive," she said, apparently prompted to make a statement in English.

One of her purported captors telephoned an AFP journalist from an unknown location and then handed the phone to the woman, who introduced herself with a Korean name that was not recognised.

There was no immediate way of verifying that she was one of South Korean church aid workers kidnapped in the southern province of Ghazni on July 19.

Eugene Cho continues to pray for the hostages on Day 16 of the crisis. He reprints a letter from the family of hostage Kim Yung-Yeong, one of the 18 women being held hostage and facing murder by the Taliban.

A German engineer and four Afghans kidnapped a day before the Koreans are also still being held by the Taliban, who are demanding Germany withdraw its 3,000 troops from Afghanistan. Berlin has flatly rejected the demand.

Meanwhile, also in Afghanistan on Saturday, two Afghan civilians were killed after a suicide car bomb hit foreign troops in the southern city of Kandahar.

Afghan troops said that two foreign soldiers were also wounded.

A group of Iranian bloggers have started a movement to remember and create awareness about several university students that have been arrested in recent months, including three who are still in prison. The idea for the campaign is to rename as many blogs as possible to “August the 5th”

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