UK in Iraq radio plea for hostage
Kenneth Bigley identifies himself in a video shown on an Islamist Web site on September 18.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The British Embassy in Baghdad has released an Arabic language radio appeal in an ongoing effort to win the release of British hostage Kenneth Bigley, who was taken captive 11 days ago.
The message released Monday includes last week's emotional appeal for his release by Bigley's mother, Lil.
The 62-year-old engineer was kidnapped from his Baghdad home along with two Americans, who were later beheaded.
Bigley's fate is unknown. An Islamic Web site reported that he too had been killed, although Bigley's brother Paul said Sunday he had received information "that Ken is still alive." The British government also said it was wary of the claim.
The British Embassy told CNN at least three major Arabic language networks heard in Iraq have agreed to air the appeal, including BBC Arabic, Radio Dijla and Radio Sawa.
The ongoing effort to win Bigley's release could also include advertisements in major Iraqi newspapers and could be key in reaching the hostage-takers. Officials have not said that they know where Bigley is. The script is as follows:
Arabic voice: Where is Ken Bigley? This is a personal appeal from his mother, who is 86 years old and ill.
Lil Bigley: Please show mercy to Ken and send him home to me alive
Arabic voice: His mother loves him very much. She asks Ken's captors to be merciful.
Lil Bigley: His family need him. I need him.
Arabic voice: Can you help Ken's family find him? Please call ... (two telephone numbers are then given) .... The identity of the caller will be kept secret. Thank you for your cooperation.
On Monday, at the annual conference of Britain's ruling Labour Party, Paul Bigley said he was angry that Tony Blair had not made a personal appeal for his brother's release. He also said Blair should resign as prime minister.
"Tony Blair is a gentleman and a statesman," he told BBC TV, but he added: "I think his sell-by date has gone and he has to go. There has to be a change of face, a change of policy, a change of dialogue."
The hostage's brother told CNN the war in Iraq was not worth the life of his brother -- or anyone else. "This war is not necessary," he said.
He added he did not support negotiating with terrorists, but said communication was critical.
"We have to fight terrorism, not negotiate, but we have to always have a dialogue," he said. "If you do not talk, if you choose to be silent, that is a kiss of death. You must communicate."
Blair said Sunday his government was doing everything it "properly and legitimately" could to secure the Bigley's release.
But he warned against raising "false hopes" that kidnappers would free him, and gave no indication the government had shifted from its refusal to negotiate with the hostage takers. (Full story)
Over the weekend, pleas mounted for Bigley's release. A delegation from the Muslim Council of Britain arrived in Iraq Saturday to appeal to the kidnappers to free Bigley, and met Sunday with Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawar.
The delegation includes Dr. Dawud Abdullah and Dr. Musharraf Hussain, both respected figures in the the British Muslim community.
"We appeal to the group that is holding Ken Bigley to release him without delay and without harm," said Iqbal Sacranie, secretary general of the council.
"He is an elderly man and he is due to become a grandfather soon. Be merciful. Our religion, Islam, does not allow us to harm the innocent."