French hostage’s partner calls on power of Islamto save him

31st August 2004, Comments 0 comments

MONTAIGUET-EN-FOREZ, France, Aug 30 (AFP) - The companion of Georges Malbrunot, one of two French journalists kidnapped by Islamic militants in Iraq, on Monday called on the power of Islam to help save her partner.

MONTAIGUET-EN-FOREZ, France, Aug 30 (AFP) - The companion of Georges Malbrunot, one of two French journalists kidnapped by Islamic militants in Iraq, on Monday called on the power of Islam to help save her partner.  

"I'm not a believer, but I have always been impressed by the power of religions to rally people," a visibly emotional Sylvie Cherpin told hundreds of supporters gathered in 41-year-old Malbrunot's central hometown of Montaiguet-en-Forez.  

"So I call on the very particular power of the Muslim religion to continue to make a favorable impression on us," she added, reading from a prepared text.  

Late Saturday, a group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq claimed it had kidnapped Malbrunot, who works for Le Figaro newspaper, and 37-year-old Radio France correspondent Christian Chesnot, who went missing in Iraq on August 20.  

The shadowy Sunni Muslim group gave Paris 48 hours - a deadline that was set to expire late Monday - to rescind its controversial ban on the wearing of Islamic headscarves in state schools and universities.  

Cherpin, showing the crowd her necklace, said: "Georges brought me this from Baghdad. It wasn't a souvenir from a vacation or a war, but an object from the region that Georges and his colleague Christian have been taking in for several years and about which they have understood the very essence."  

She thanked both French political and religious leaders for their "unity in support of the release of our two friends."

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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