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Iraq: a passport for freedom for Irish-born hostage?

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Iraq: a passport for freedom for Irish-born hostage?


Ireland is considering giving citizenship to Irish-born Margaret Hassan, the humanitarian worker kidnapped in Iraq on Tuesday. It is hoped Ireland’s neutrality could help secure her release. Hassan, who has dual British and Iraqi citizenship, is one of the managers of the charity Care International in Baghdad. She has been in Iraq for 30 years and is married to an Iraqi. Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said: “Margaret is Irish, but I think more importantly, Margaret is a humanitarian aid worker, a person who’s helped anybody who’s ever needed to be helped. Here was a person who was just helping people.”

Patients at a clinic that Care helped rebuild gathered in protest yesterday to condemn her abduction. The Arabic television channel Al Jazeera has aired footage of Hassan soon after she disappeared. An anonymous militant group has claimed it is holding her. She is the eighth foreign woman to be kidnapped in Iraq. All the others have been released unharmed.

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