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Petition to save the other 22 South Korean Taliban hostages

avaaz | 29.07.2007 10:53

Dear friends,

22 hostages remain alive. But every moment can mean life or death. Since Tuesday, 45,000 of us from 176 countries have signed the emergency petition, calling on the Taliban to honour the Pashtunwali code of "hospitality to all" by releasing the Korean hostages. Now, as the crisis deepens and word of the petition spreads in Afghanistan, it's time to push past our goal of 50,000 signatures--could you send this email to ten friends now?

On Wednesday, the Taliban killed Bae Hyung-kyu. It was the day of his 42nd birthday. But they've pushed back their deadline on the other hostages, and talks have begun with local tribal elders and the government--so there's hope the other 22 could make it out alive.

The key to our efforts is Pashtunwali, an ancient moral system that remains a powerful force among the Pashtun people--including the Taliban. Pashtun are bound to practice "melmastia," or generous hospitality, to all visitors who intend them no harm.

We've begun a massive effort to send word of the petition to reporters, bloggers, and NGOs throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan, to make sure that the Taliban know the world is watching to see if they will live up to the Pashtunwali code. The Taliban know that if the Afghan people see them as betraying this revered tradition, they will lose public support. We must shame them into releasing the hostages--every signature counts. So please--think of people who will care, and ask them join us in this last-ditch effort by clicking:

With hope,

Ben, Iain, Ricken, Graziela, Tom, Paul and the rest of the Avaaz Team

PS: Read a news story about the petition here:

Here's the petition, translated to Pashto by an Avaaz member in Afghanistan:

And here are some of the blog posts from around the world about the petition:



Hide the following 2 comments


29.07.2007 14:41

I wonder who's really holding these poor people, as the Aggressors are using this as propaganda, and to further the claim that the people they're fighting are somehow just "the Taliban", as opposed to an Afghan Resistance Movement, legitimized by their Aggression, and empowered by their willingness to fight a ground war from the air - due to lack of resources and manpower - ensuring a maximum number of civilian deaths (well, that and the fact that they're there to prop up a brutal, corrupt Puppet Regime, energy pipelines and the heroin industry).

Nothing Past Them

The difference between "terrorist" & "freedom fighter" is easy...

30.07.2007 20:21

Whilst agreeing that we are unlikely ever to be presented with a government report of "resistence", I don't think that hostage taking and killing is quite the "feel good" story that psyops would be looking for at the moment.

For sure, they won't be banging on about al Qaeda in Afghanistan for a while. That would be too embarrassing, so the Taleban are the natural successors as a catch-all baddie.

From what I can gather, the possibility of anyone being able to form a true grassroots resistance, and not some breakaway drug/ethnic warlord faction, is less than nil.

The ordinary people of Afghanistan are too busy selling their daughters to put food on the table to be able to even afford 1 non-factionalised bullet, let alone the gun to fire it.

Besides, hostage taking of civilians is terrorism full stop. Quite how anyone can be legitimized in targeting civilians is beyond me, and that includes Bush & Blair... and a special note of including Rumsfeld for the civilian family of Iraqi Fedayin fighters being held hostage on his watch.

If the West keeps this up, the meaning of the word "democracy" will change to 'an intense war of attrition targeting the poor' and "freedom" will be 'a never ending theater of guerrilla warfare where people are free to cross the borders as refugees if they are healthy/wealthy enough'.

They have already started to sound more like threats.