Wife of Iraq hostage Alan McMenemy makes appeal

By Frank Gardner
BBC security correspondent


The wife of the only British hostage still missing in Iraq has appealed to his kidnappers to end her ordeal on the anniversary of his abduction.

Gunmen abducted five men including security guard Alan McMenemy, from Glasgow, exactly three years ago.

Rosaleen McMenemy has urged those holding him to show "mercy and compassion".

Only one of the men has been released alive, while the bodies of three others have been returned to Britain.

Family torment

Mr McMenemy was snatched in broad daylight from a ministry building in Baghdad three years ago.

Along with four other Britons, he was bundled into the back of a van, hooded, shackled and driven off.

image captionAlan McMenemy was among a group of five Britons snatched in Iraq

Since then only one man, Peter Moore, has been released alive, while the bodies of three of the men have been returned to Britain over the last 12 months, giving their grieving families at least some kind of closure.

Mr McMenemy's kidnappers, an Iraqi Shia militia group, have told the British embassy he is dead, but they have so far failed to provide any proof or return his body.

Mrs McMenemy has made a direct appeal to the kidnappers to end her family's torment.

'Bring closure'

She said: "It's now been three years since he's been held captive, which is 1,096 days.

"This is far too long for myself and our two children and I would ask those holding him to please show mercy and compassion and return him to us immediately and unconditionally.

"You've showed compassion by releasing his four colleagues and I would ask you to do the same for my family to bring closure to this."

Mrs McMenemy will never know for certain what happened to her husband until the kidnappers hand over the proof.

For now, she is surviving on the memory of their last time together before Mr McMenemy went off to work in Baghdad.

She said: "We'd spent the weekend with the children in Edinburgh, it was our wedding anniversary, we spent a couple of days there, it was a lovely couple of days, it was very nice.

"And Alan was just looking forward to coming back from work and maybe having a family holiday. It would have been lovely."

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