avaaz | 29.07.2007 10:53
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:
Ben, Iain, Ricken, Graziela, Tom, Paul and the rest of the Avaaz Team
PS: Read a news story about the petition here: http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200707/200707270007.html
Here's the petition, translated to Pashto by an Avaaz member in Afghanistan: http://www.tolafghan.com/index.php?news_id=7429
And here are some of the blog posts from around the world about the petition: http://technorati.com/search/www.avaaz.org%2Fen%2Fhonour_the_afghan_code