Margaret Hassan, the humanitarian aid worker who was kidnapped last month in Iraq, is believed to have been killed. According to the Associated Press, a video was sent to Al-Jazeera television that showed a hooded person shooting a blindfolded woman, believed to be Hassan, in the head.
Hassan was born in Ireland, married an Iraqi, and has lived in Iraq over the past 30 years while working for CARE International since the early 1990s. CARE officials released a statement stating “it is with profound sadness that we have learnt of the existence of a video in which it appears that our colleague Margaret Hassan has been killedÉThrough her courage, tenacity and commitment, Mrs. Hassan assisted more than seventeen million Iraqis living in the most difficult of circumstances.” Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, expressed his sympathy stating “it is repugnant to commit such a crime against a woman who has spent most of her life working for the good of the people of Iraq” reports the Associated Press.
According to the New York Times, CARE suspended its operations in Iraq after learning of Hassan’s kidnapping in October. In addition, two other aid organizations that were providing critical humanitarian services in Iraq, Doctors Without Borders and the International Rescue Committee, recently ended their programs in Iraq.