Former Iraq hostage to visit Whitehorse

Former Iraq hostage James Loney is visiting Whitehorse to discuss the links between “non-violence and human freedom.

Former Iraq hostage James Loney is visiting Whitehorse to discuss the links between “non-violence and human freedom.”

Loney’s 2005 abduction in Iraq along with three other colleagues set off a widely publicized 118-day hostage crisis that would finally end with a co-ordinated rescue by a multinational military force led by the British Special Air Service Regiment.

The four had been in Iraq as members of Christian Peacemaker Teams, a group devoted to non-violent conflict intervention.

Prior to abduction, the team had been working towards securing the rights of US military security detainees.

One of the hostages, American Tom Fox, was executed by captors about three weeks before the rescue.

Loney is speaking in Whitehorse on the invitation of friend Mark Connell, a member of the Whitehorse Social Justice Committee and the organizer of Thursday’s talk.

The visit comes as part of an almost “nonstop” speaking tour, which has seen Loney speaking in locations throughout Canada, the United States and the UK, said Connell.

Recently, Loney made headlines when he announced in 2007 that he would not testify against his captors in the Iraqi court system due to a possibility they could receive the death penalty.

Loney’s talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Beringia Centre. Admission is by donation.