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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 16:59 GMT
'We each cope in different ways'
Ex-hostages Norman Kember, James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden
Canadian James Loney read the joint statement
Three peace campaigners who were held in Iraq for nearly four months have spoken of life since their release.

Briton Norman Kember and Canadians James Loney and Harmet Singh Sooden were chained to each other for 22 hours a day.

The Christian peace activists appeared together at a news conference in London on Thursday. Since their release, the three have been in regular touch via e-mail and telephone.

James Loney says meeting at the airport on Wednesday was "remarkably low-key".

"It's hard to describe after going through a crazy, abnormal experience to have this everyday, normal hello. It was wonderful".

Mr Loney had already met Mr Sooden at the memorial service for the fourth, murdered hostage, Tom Fox, held near Washington in July.

When I came back, social interactions were different; out of kilter
Harmeet Singh Sooden

All three said Tom was not far from their thoughts.

They felt they could not say if Mr Fox's family shared their call for leniency for their captors.

However, Mr Kember praised Mr Fox as "the most compassionate of the four of us".


On his release, Mr Kember had said he would reflect on whether he had been "foolhardy or rational" to go to Iraq.

Asked if he had drawn any conclusions, he said: "Yes, we were naive if Jesus was naive, if Martin Luther King was naive, if Gandhi was naive."

The youngest ex-hostage, Mr Sooden says he receives the occasional call from Mr Kember "to make sure I'm not getting into trouble".

The closest relationship appears to be between the two Canadians.

Harmeet Singh Sooden
Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, was the youngest hostage

Mr Sooden is now at university in Auckland, New Zealand. He speaks to Mr Loney, in Toronto, nearly every other day.

He said: "For me, when I came back, social interactions were different; out of kilter. It's like a new way of seeing relationships, with friends, family, so on. It's interesting to talk about these things."

Mr Loney explains: "We each cope in different ways with this experience. Some of us are more ready than others to share that, but the main thing is just to know: "I love you both".

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