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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 September, 2004, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
Full Text: Kenneth Bigley appeal
Video of man believed to be Kenneth Bigley
Mr Bigley spoke for several minutes
Here is the full text of hostage Kenneth Bigley's video appeal to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on 23 September 2004:

I am Ken Bigley from Liverpool in the Walton district. I am here in Iraq, and I think this is possibly my last chance to speak to someone who will listen from Europe.

I need you to be as compassionate as you have always said you are and help me, help me to live so I can see my wife and my son and my mother and my brothers again.

I don't want to die. I don't deserve it. And neither do those women held in the Iraqi prisons. Please, please release the female prisoners who are held in Iraqi prisons. Please help them. I need you to help, Mr Blair. You are now the only person on God's earth that I can speak to.

Please, please help me to see my wife, who cannot go on without me - she really can't - and my son. Please help me. Please help me.

I also now realise how much the Iraqi people have suffered. The Iraqis have suffered, the Iraqi children who haven't got their mothers. It's not fair.

A child wants his mother. It's of no use keeping a mother in prison, no use whatsoever, ever. Let the mothers go back to their children. Give these people a chance. Please, I beg you.

My wife, she can't even speak very good English. She doesn't know anything. She rings Paul and asks, 'Where's Ken ?'.

Mr Blair, I am nothing to you. It's just one person in the whole of the United Kingdom - that's all - with a family like you've got a family, with children, like your children, your boys, your wife.

Please, you can help. I know you can. These people are not asking for the world. They're asking for their wives and the mothers of their children.

Please, Mr Blair, please show some of the compassion you say you have. Please, I don't know what I can say. Please, I wish you could talk back to me. I wish you could tell me what I've got to do. I'm nothing, am only a small man. I'm nothing. I have no political gains. I have no ambitions of grandeur. I made the mistake in coming here. But I've worked a long time in the Emirates.

I just didn't have real fear, not like I have today. Please, please, help me Mr Blair. You know you can. You know you can. Thank you. Thank you.

And... also if there's anyone else that can, can help me within the British political world, the Liberal party or the Conservative Party, if you can talk with Mr Blair and assist him.

I know things aren't easy. I know things aren't black and white, white and black. But we can overcome this. We can overcome it. I need to live. I need to see my family. And these people here need to see their mothers and their wives back in their homes. They do.

I've been here a week, and they've taken good care of me. They have. Under the circumstances, they've taken very good care of me. So, please, anybody, anybody in England, anybody at all that can talk to you Mr Blair and convince Mr Blair to help me and help the Iraqi people.

This is not only helping me. This is helping the Iraqi people who need help. They don't need bully boys. They need help.They need care. And they need compassion - the things you say you are, Mr Blair. Please, anyone at all who can help, and also to the British people - you are going to be watching because it is on TV, I presume.

You look at yourselves, and think of your wife or think of your husband not being home - not because they committed a crime but because they just get arrested and are guilty by association, just thrown inside a jail. And the families want these people home like you would want your family, your mothers, your wives, your husbands home.

Please, please, lobby Mr Blair. Please lobby all of the political parties that you are involved with, and ask them to stop and have a look at the Iraqis' plight.

Iraq is suffering, and has been suffering too long. And it needs its country, like you. Would you like the Germans or any other country walking down the street with a gun, in England, in Scotland? I don't think so. And the Iraqis don't like foreign troops on their soil, walking down the street with guns. It's not right. And it's not fair. We need to pull the troops out and let the Iraqis run their own country, their own destiny.

And I ask you all, of course I need help, of course I do, that goes without saying - but the Iraqis also need help. They need to be left alone to rebuild their country and their own futures at the speed they want to do it and not be pushed and shoved. People of Britain and people of Liverpool particularly, you are very special people, you are people who can open your mouths and speak and say, 'Enough is enough. Enough is enough of playing with Iraq like a toy. Pack your bags and get out.' And let's hope we can come back and visit the country as a guest, as a guest of the Iraqis.

Please, especially all the people of Liverpool, we all know how important, how special Liverpool is to everybody, people who speak the truth. I'm not afraid to speak the truth, I never have been, that's probably why all the Liverpudlians have suffered over the years.

I'm begging you, please, please talk to MPs. Talk to the government. Talk to anyone. Please, please look at Iraq and help. Me, yes, I want to live. Yes, I want to live. But please look and help Iraq, Iraqi women and children, women and children.

I've been in Iraq some months now. Believe me, they have nothing. They have nothing, only their pride. They're kind people. Please talk to, talk to everybody that you know who can influence people, can talk to politicians, can talk to anybody who can let the decision makers know, people who are close to the government, who are close to the opposition, Amnesty International, the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, everybody. And the Asian community, the Asian community in England, please, please open your mouths and be listened to and speak up for the freedom of Iraq, please.



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