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Jurnalul.ro Vechiul site Old site English Version The Road to Easter Is Paved with Sufferance

The Road to Easter Is Paved with Sufferance

28 Apr 2005   •   00:00

There haven’t been any other news about the fate of the Romanian journalists in Iraq, yesterday. This must be a sign they are alive. The last information on the talks with the group that’s holding them show that, on Wednesday night, the Romanian side asked for the freeing of Marie-Jeanne, in order for the negotiations to go through.

  • EVENT - April 29th 2005
  • After the second deadline passed, the Romanian journalists kidnapped in Iraq are alive.
    This is the last information that the Romanian side gave us on Wednesday night. It was the end of a day dominated by a terror well maintained by the messages that Prima TV was receiving on the phone from several persons saying they represented the terrorist group.

    They kept announcing that there were no more than a few hours until the end of the ultimatum, when two of the hostages should have been killed.

    THE COLOR OF DEATH. The latest video recording of the kidnapped shows Sorin Miscoci and Mohamad Munaf dressed in orange, the color of death for the convicted ones. Yesterday, the Romanian authorities had asked for the extension of the ultimatum given by the group that holds the journalists and, fortunately, the time passed without the tragic action to happen.

    MARRIE-JEANNE. In the evening, the first important news regarding the negotiations came. The Romanian side had asked the group that’s holding the journalists for the freeing of Marie-Jeanne before any other further step in the negotiations. The Romanians explained that the Romanian people cannot accept such things being done to a woman, because, in the Romanian culture, due to the important role of the Holly Virgin for the Orthodox religion, the woman is saint, in the same way in which the Iraqi people consider the children as being saint.

    ONE MORE DAY OF WAITING. Yesterday, the families of the journalists gathered again at the Cotroceni Palace to wait for news about Marie-Jeanne, Sorin and Ovidiu.

    The relatives of Sorin Miscoci returned back home in Sibiu, to get some rest after the tension of their latest few days. The operative cell also met on yesterday, like in all the other days, to analyze the elements that appeared in the negotiations with the group that holds the Romanian journalists, but no other information came from the authorities.

    The Islamic Iraqi Party Is Asking for the Release

    The support statement and the request addressed to the kidnappers on Wednesday by Iraq’s President, Jalal Talibani, have been followed on yesterday morning by the one of the Islamic Iraqi Party, the most important Iraqi Sunnite political formation. They asked for the freeing of the Romanian journalists kept hostage in Iraq. "We ask for the freeing of the Romanian journalists and ask all the Iraqi parties to help them inform on the reality of the things in Iraq", says a party of the Islamic Party. "The kidnapping of the journalists has a devastating effect upon Iraq", says the party, and they accused "the anti-Iraqi forces of trying to use this for covering the actual Iraq".

    Thursday’s Iraqi press stated that, on Wednesday, President Jalal Talabani expressed his concern about the fate of the hostages and assured the Romanian Ambassador in Baghdad, Mihai Stuparu, that his country was doing all they could for their setting free.

    "The Retreat from Iraq, Highly Improbable"

    Romania joined the countries whose retreat from Iraq is being requested by an Iraqi group. The group that holds the three Romanian journalists threatens it will kill them unless the Romanian troops leave Iraq, says a statement published on the website of the Europa Libera radio station.

    Analyst David Hartwell from Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessments, expert in the Middle Orient issues, said in a statement for the Europa Libera station that it is highly improbable that Romania would cease under the pressures and withdraw its troops from Iraq.

    "The experience seems to show that this strategy doesn’t work", he said, adding that he didn’t know whether the Romanian side was discussing with the Iraqi group or if there were any talks on a possible ransom.

    "This doesn’t seem to be the case", analyst David Hartwell added.

    He considers that the kidnappers’ strategy of threatening with the killing of some of the journalists in order to request the withdrawal of the troops of a state is unrealistic.

    The Romanian authorities announced they had contact with the kidnappers, but refused commenting on the situation of the more than 800 Romanian soldiers transferred to Iraq.

    Translated By SORIN BALAN
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