Horrible, whoever she is!
I can't find a copy of the report I saw, but it suggested the hair colouring of the unfortunate woman whose body was discovered doesn't match Margaret Hassan's. And there goes the theory that women are safer than men in Iraq.
It's onimous isn't it, that there haven't been further messages from her captors?
However, given the assault on Fallujah, one wonders if a number of hostages were summarily murdered, who might otherwise have been returned? They hadn't murdered a woman before - well, in bombings and such, they had...
Just in: A video shows that Margaret Hassan has been killed , British official says.
CNN just posted this.
Video May Show CARE Director Being Killed
By ROBERT H. REID
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Kidnapped aid worker Margaret Hassan was believed to be dead Tuesday after a video received by Al-Jazeera television showed a hooded figure shooting a blindfolded woman in the head.CNN
New video 'shows Hassan murder'
Mrs Hassan had lived in Iraq for 30 years and married an Iraqi
A video apparently showing the murder of aid worker Margaret Hassan seems to be genuine, says the Foreign Office.
"We now believe that she has probably been murdered", Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said after analysing the tape.
Her Iraqi husband, Tahseen Ali Hassan, has made a plea for her body to be returned to him "to rest in peace".
Mrs Hassan, who has Irish, British and Iraqi nationality, was seized by an unknown group in the Iraqi capital on 19 October.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent his sympathy to Mrs Hassan's family, saying he "shared their abhorrence" at her treatment.
And Bertie Ahern, the Irish Republic's Prime Minister, said her kidnappers "stand condemned by everyone throughout the entire international community".
We now have to accept that Margaret has probably gone and at last her suffering has ended
Mrs Hassan's family
Family statement in full
Iraqi hostages: Facts, figures
Arabic TV news channel Al Jazeera has said it has had a copy of the videotape for several days but has chosen not to broadcast it.
The video apparently shows a militant firing a pistol into the head of a blindfolded woman wearing an orange jumpsuit.
A spokesman for Al Jazeera said he presumed the woman was Mrs Hassan.
Mr Hassan has appealed to the kidnappers to return his wife's body.
"I beg those people who took Margaret to tell me what they have done with her," he said.
"They can tell me. They can call the helpline. I need her. I need her back to rest in peace."
Mrs Hassan's brother and sisters, Michael, Deirdre, Kathryn and Geraldine Fitzsimons, said in a statement that their "hearts are broken".
They said: "We have kept hoping for as long as we could, but we now have to accept that Margaret has probably gone and at last her suffering has ended.
Mr Hassan made an emotional plea for her body to be returned
"She had no prejudice against any creed. She dedicated her whole life to working for the poor and vulnerable, helping those who had no-one else."
They described her murder as "unforgivable", adding: "The gap she leaves will never be filled."
Felicity Arbuthnot, a freelance journalist who was a close friend of Mrs Hassan, said she was both sad and angry at the aid worker's apparent death.
"It is an horrific irony that someone who had fought for this country should die in this way," she said.
Mrs Hassan was driving to work as director of aid agency Care International's Iraq operations when she was seized. The agency has since halted work in the country.
The 59-year-old, who has lived in Iraq for 30 years, appeared in several videos during her captivity calling for Britain to withdraw from Iraq, and for women prisoners to be freed.
If her death is confirmed, the aid worker will be the first foreign female hostage to have been murdered in Iraq amid a recent wave of hostage-takings.
" Last Updated: Friday, 22 October, 2004, 07:54 GMT 08:54 UK
Margaret Hassan: A personal tale
By Felicity Arbuthnot
Margaret Hassan has worked in Iraq for the past 30 years
Freelance journalist Felicity Arbuthnot, a long-time friend of kidnapped aid worker Margaret Hassan, describes the charity boss's heroic endeavours to help the people of Iraq.
Even in the bloodshed and turmoil of post-invasion Iraq, the kidnapping of Margaret Hassan, head of Care International in Iraq, is incomprehensible.
Margaret Hassan fell in love with Iraq more than 30 years ago, when she travelled there as a young bride with her Iraqi husband Taheen Ali Hassan.
They had met while studying in London and the former Margaret Fitzsimmons, from Dublin in the "land of a thousand welcomes", fell in love for a second time with Baghdad - formerly Madinat al Salam: City of Peace - and the land known through time as "the cradle of civilisation".
She converted to Islam, learned Arabic and took Iraqi citizenship........
Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3764692.stm
Lest we forget - other hostages:
And, sadly, Care International has noe closed in Iraq.
my heart is breaking.
it´so much painfull to see an angel like Margaret ending like this.
i have no words.
Oh no. I was hoping against hope, but the longer it went...
I just heard the report on ABC radio.
What a terrible death for such a special woman. Shame on her captors. To me it looks like it was about ransom money & nothing else. I'm disgusted & very saddened.
Made me feel ill to hear the news.
It made me almost wish they'd killed her much earlier, littlek. The hell that she must have endured over the past few weeks must have been excruciating. Poor soul, at least it's stopped now.
Last Update: Wednesday, November 17, 2004. 9:56am (AEDT)
Al Jazeera said it would not broadcast the tape thought to show Hassan's killing. (Reuters)
Iraqi hostage Hassan probably killed, family says
British-Iraqi aid worker Margaret Hassan has probably been killed by kidnappers, her family has said after a video apparently showing her being shot in the head was sent to an Arab television station.
"There is a video of Margaret which appears to show her murder," Tahsin Hassan told Reuters in Baghdad, where his Dublin-born wife had lived for some 30 years.
"She has probably been murdered," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said after experts had reviewed the tape sent to Al Jazeera television. There was an element of doubt, he added.
Her family said from London: "Margaret has probably gone."
Al Jazeera said it would not broadcast the tape, which a spokesman said showed a hooded figure shooting a blindfolded woman in the head.
He said he was not certain the victim was Ms Hassan, who was snatched a month ago on her way to work as country director of the charity Care International.
Mr Hassan appealed to the hostage-takers to return his wife's body for burial if indeed she had become the first foreign woman to be confirmed as killed by kidnappers in Iraq.
"I want to know if she is alive or dead. If she's dead I want to know where she is so I can bury her in peace," he said, stressing her dedication to her adoptive land.
"Margaret lived with me for more than 30 years in Iraq and dedicated her life to serving the Iraqi people."
She was believed to be 59, British diplomats said.
"To kidnap and kill anyone is inexcusable. But it is repugnant to commit such a crime against a woman who has spent most of her life working for the good of the people of Iraq," Mr Straw said.
"The Prime Minister sends his sympathy to the family of Margaret Hassan and shares their abhorrence at the cruel treatment of someone who devoted so many years to help the people of Iraq," a spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair said.
'Shocked and appalled'
Care Australia, which employed Ms Hassan, said in a statement that it was "shocked and appalled" at the news.
"It is with profound sadness that we have learnt of the existence of a video in which it appears that our colleague Margaret Hassan has been killed," it said.
"We are shocked and appalled that this has been the apparent outcome of her abduction.
"We want to express our deepest sympathy to Mrs Hassan's husband Tahseen, and to her family.
"Mrs Hassan was an extraordinary woman who dedicated her life to the poor and disadvantaged in Iraq, particularly the children. The whole of CARE is in mourning."
Care Australia thanked the Iraqi people for trying to secure her release and said it would support her husband and others affected.
The British Government had kept a low profile during efforts to free Ms Hassan, who had criticised London's role in the Iraq war, while her employers and family stressed her Irish roots and strong attachment to her adopted Iraqi homeland.
"Our hearts are broken. We have kept hoping for as long as we could, but we now have to accept that Margaret has probably gone and at last her suffering has ended," her brother and three sisters said in a statement released in London.
"It is a cruel irony that Margaret's captors did not show to her the same humanity and kindness which she demonstrated daily to those around her. All right-thinking people will be appalled by the senseless killing of this innocent woman," Irish President Mary McAleese said in a statement.
"Those responsible for abducting Margaret stand condemned by everyone throughout the entire international community," added Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.
Since her abduction on October 19, Ms Hassan had appeared in three previous video tapes released by her unknown captors, calling at one point on Britain to withdraw its troops from Iraq.
At one stage, her captors threatened to hand her over to a group led by Al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which kidnapped Americans Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong and Briton Kenneth Bigley in September and later beheaded them.
Zarqawi's group posted a message on a website urging Ms Hassan's captors to free her unless she were a spy. It remained unclear who had been holding the aid worker most recently.
Militant Islamists have waged a campaign of kidnappings and killings to try to force US-led troops and foreigners to leave Iraq. By one calculation Ms Hassan would be at least the 40th foreign hostage known to have been killed and the first woman.
Several foreigners are believed still to be held, including at least one other woman, Polish-Iraqi Teresa Borcz Khalifa. Others include two American men and two French journalists.
Jihad Ballout, a spokesman for Al Jazeera, said of the new video: "It shows a hooded person pointing a pistol at the head of a blindfolded woman before shooting her."
As in previous videos of Ms Hassan, no flags or banners appeared in the video to identify the kidnappers.
"Those who are guilty of this atrocious act, and those who support them, have no excuses," Ms Hassan's siblings said.
"Her love of the Arab people started in the 1960s when she worked in Palestinian camps, living with the poorest of the poor. For the past 30 years, Margaret worked tirelessly for the Iraqi people."
Care International said: "Through her courage, tenacity and commitment, Ms Hassan assisted more than 17 million Iraqis living in the most difficult of circumstances. Everyone who met her was touched by her personality and compassion."
Mama Margaret's mission of love
November 17, 2004 - 10:10AM
Margaret Hassan dedicated most of her working life to easing the lot of ordinary Iraqis.
She was born in Dublin, but married an Iraqi and her dedication to the country and its culture was such that she became a Muslim and took on dual British and Iraqi citizenship.
She worked in humanitarian relief in the Middle Eastern country for 30 years and for the last 12 years she worked for CARE International as CARE Iraq's country director, paid through the charity's Australian branch.
Following a meeting in Jordan in March last year, Sir William Deane, chairman of CARE Australia, said: "Margaret's decision - indeed her determination - to remain in Iraq and carry out emergency work throughout the conflict was typical of a truly remarkable woman."
After she was kidnapped, her husband Tahseen Ali Hassan pleaded with her kidnappers to let her go saying: "They should know that my wife has worked almost all her life for the Iraqi people and considers herself an Iraqi.
"My wife is apolitical, she is a humanitarian worker and I ask you to release her."
Hassan's close friend, film-maker Felicity Arbuthnot, described her as "a very tough lady who is frightened of nothing".
Described by friends as caring, tough and direct, she began working for CARE International soon after it began operations in Iraq in 1991.
At the time she was taken hostage she was in charge of a staff of 60 Iraqis who run nutrition, health and water programs throughout the country.
But her kidnapping led the aid operation to withdraw from the country, considering it had become too dangerous.
Hassan was a vocal opponent of international sanctions on Iraq.
And before the coalition forces launched last year's war to topple Saddam Hussein, Hassan spoke out to warn that such a conflict would bring a "humanitarian catastrophe" on Iraq.
When war broke out, she was determined to stay to continue her work despite the danger.
As the conflict gripped the country, she led a team working to provide essential aid to hospitals and help restore vital power and water supplies.
Her team coped with the problem of looters and chaos in the streets and fought for a return to food rationing.
After she was taken hostage on October 19, protesters gathered outside CARE International's Baghdad headquarters, carrying pictures of her and banners which called for the release of "Mama Margaret".
Nasrat al-Asadi, a teacher at an Iraqi school for the deaf, brought about 30 pupils to the demonstration and said: "They all love her.
"She helped them with hearing aids besides reconstructing the institute."
Her plight was the subject of a wave of sympathy across the Islamic world, with many websites filled with messages deploring her kidnapping.
Her courageous leadership through such troubled times was "remarkable", said one colleague.
CARE International is one of the world's largest independent global relief and development organisations.
The non-political aid organisation has its headquarters in Belgium and operates in more than 72 countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and eastern Europe.
It has 11 offices in Europe, Australia, North America, and Japan and supports projects that benefit about 30 million people a year.
Ninety per cent of CARE International's 10,000 staff worldwide work in their home countries.
Its programs receive support from many governments and institutions including the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union and the British Government.
CARE International had worked in Iraq since 1991 and was the only international non-governmental organisation to maintain a continuous presence in southern and central Iraq, according to the charity's website, until Hassan's kidnapping forced it to suspend its operations in Iraq on October 20.
CARE Iraq's emergency relief work during and after the war benefited more than 12 million Iraqi citizens, according to the charity.
More than 21 million Iraqis - the majority of the population - are served by water systems funded by CARE International and over two million people directly benefit from water plants and pumping stations refurbished with CARE International's help.
I weep for Margaret and the people and the land, and the rest of us. But today, for Margaret.