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Peace activist killed in Iraq
He died because of the U.S. war

By Elizabeth Schulte | March 17, 2006 | Page 2

THREE MONTHS after Tom Fox was kidnapped in Iraq with three other members of the humanitarian group Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), his friends and supporters are mourning his death. Fox's body was discovered in a Baghdad neighborhood March 10.

Several news agencies reported police statements that Fox appeared to have been tortured, but another police official told the Washington Post that his body showed no sign of torture.

The 54-year-old father of two traveled to Iraq in 2004 to oppose the occupation and document abuses suffered by Iraqis under occupation, including the mistreatment of detainees. In fact, the CPT was one of the first groups to report on the torture by U.S. forces at Abu Ghraib prison.

On November 26, Fox and three other CPT members--Jim Loney, Harmeet Sooden and Norman Kember--were abducted by a group that called itself the "Swords of Truth" in a video which appeared on al-Jazeera television. The group, which had no known affiliation with the resistance movement in Iraq, threatened to kill the four unless U.S. forces and the Iraqi authorities freed all prisoners.

Within days of their disappearance, several groups, including major Palestinian organizations and prominent antiwar individuals such as Arundhati Roy and Tariq Ali, issued urgent appeals to free the team members.

As a statement on the CPT Web site reads: "We are angry because what has happened to our teammates is the result of the actions of the U.S. and UK government due to the illegal attack on Iraq and the continuing occupation and oppression of its people."

In the aftermath of Tom's death, the CPT is redoubling its efforts to oppose the occupation. "Through these days of crisis, Christian Peacemaker Teams has been surrounded and upheld by a great outpouring of compassion," stated a CPT press release on March 10. "At the forefront of that support are strong and courageous actions from Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world for which we are profoundly grateful. Their graciousness inspires us to continue working for the day when Christians speak up as boldly for the human rights of thousands Iraqis still detained illegally by the United States and United Kingdom."

A similar point was made at a tribute to Fox in Toronto by Dwyer Sullivan, a friend of a kidnapped CPT member who has gone on two Iraq delegations himself. "I feel that if we had 150,000 peacekeepers over there instead of 150,000 soldiers spending over $1 billion a day bombing people," Sullivan said, "the Iraqis may be more inclined to not be killing each other or killing us."

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