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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 November, 2004, 21:53 GMT
Aid worker's family 'heartbroken'

The husband and family of aid worker Margaret Hassan have spoken of their fears that she has been murdered by her hostage-takers in Iraq.

They issued statements telling of their fears and heartbreak.

MARGARET HASSAN'S SISTERS AND BROTHER

Margaret Hassan's three sisters

Michael, Deirdre, Geraldine and Kathryn Fitzsimons, the brother and sisters of Margaret Hassan, issued a statement through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office press office.

Our hearts are broken. We have kept hoping for as long as we could, but we now have to accept that Margaret has probably gone and at last her suffering has ended.

Our prayers and thoughts are with our dear brother-in-law Tahseen. Margaret was a friend of the Arab world, to people of all religions. Her love of the Arab people started in the 1960s when she worked in Palestinian camps, living with the poorest of the poor and supporting the refugees.

For the past 30 years, Margaret worked tirelessly for the Iraqi people. Margaret had only goodwill towards everyone. She had no prejudice against any creed. She dedicated her whole life to working for the poor and vulnerable, helping those who had no one else.

Those who are guilty of this atrocious act, and those who support them, have no excuses. Nobody can justify this. Margaret was against sanctions and the war. To commit such a crime against anyone is unforgivable.

But we cannot believe how anybody could do this to our kind, compassionate sister.

The gap she leaves will never be filled.

MARGARET HASSAN'S HUSBAND TAHSEEN

Tahseen Ali Hassan

Tahseen Hassan was filmed personally reading his statement for broadcast on radio and TV.

I am Tahseen Hassan, husband of Margaret Hassan.

I have been told that there is a video of Margaret that appears to show her murder. The video may be genuine but I do not know.

I beg those people who took Margaret to tell me what they have done with her. They can tell me. They can call the helpline. I need her. I need her back to rest in peace.

Margaret lived with me in Iraq for 30 years. She dedicated her life to serving the Iraqi people. Please now. Please return her to me.



BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Margaret Hassan's husband appeals for more information




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