Tuesday 22 July 2008

Ex-hostage Ingrid Betancourt calls for Gilad Shalit's release

"Former French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt, who was freed earlier this month along with 14 other hostages after being held by the Farc rebels in Colombia, called Sunday for the release of all those still held hostage in the world and displayed a large photo of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was kidnapped near Gaza by Palestinians two years ago.

Shalit has dual French and Israeli citizenship.

Several thousand people gathered for a concert at the Trocadéro near the Eiffel Tower in Paris to take part in one of a series of demonstrations around the world to protest the kidnappings by the Colombian marxist guerrillas.

During the Paris event, Betancourt spoke out for other prisoners held throughout the world, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest in her native Myanmar, and Gilad Shalit.

She held a large sign with Shalit's photo. The sign read, "Gilad Shalit, kidnapped since June 2006."

"We want freedom for everyone," said Betancourt, drawing loud applause from the crowd, many of whom chanted the Spanish word for freedom "Libertad!"."

Source: EJP

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