February 18, 2005

Iraqi Born Swedish Man Threatened With Beheading on Video (Images)

alyusifi.jpgA new video has been released of a Christian Iraqi who had returned to Iraq, from which he had fled to Sweden in 1984, to run for pollitical office. He is a naturalized Swedish citizen. Minas al-Yusifi is the leader of the Christain Democratic party in Iraq and was taken hostage in Northern Iraq three weeks ago by a group calling itself Martyr al-Isawy Brigades.

The group has threatened to behead al-Yusifi if any security forces were contacted by the family, have demanded ransom, and that US forces be replaced by UN forces.

UPDATE: The video may be downloaded from the Expressen, a Swedish news service here. The video runs about two minutes and is in Arabic. Although fairly low-quality, Mr. al-Yusifi can be seen visibly flinching and recoiling from his captors rifle.

From Local, a Swedish source:

A video of the Swede who was kidnapped in Iraq three weeks ago was released by his captors on Thursday. With a machine gun to his head, Minas Ibrahim al-Yousifi appealed to the international community to help free him.

"I beg everyone to do their utmost to free me," he said on the film, which lasted for just over two minutes....

"I appeal to His Majesty Carl XVI Gustav, Sweden's king, and Queen Silvia, Pope John Paul, the international federation of Christian parties, the Muslim clerics in Iraq and Iraq's constitutional assembly to work for my freedom," he said.

On Saturday Mr al-Yousifi made a telephone call to his family in which he explained the kidnappers' demands. According to Expressen, they have requested around 28 million crowns and for US troops to be replaced by UN troops in the Iraq.

Developing......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:13 AM | Comments |