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Louis Farrakhan Urges Release of Daniel Pearl

Aired February 1, 2002 - 15:16   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're bringing you the latest on the development with kidnapped "Wall Street Journal" reporter Daniel Pearl. Now, Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, has released a statement encouraging and imploring the kidnappers of Daniel Pearl to release him.

We're just getting this in, haven't even made a graphic, so I'm just going to read you a part of it. Louis Farrakhan writes to the kidnappers: "I urge the immediate release and safe return of Daniel Pearl. His release may serve the greater good and promote meaningful dialogue with the American people and government. Muslims are known for their compassion and mercy of the human family."

He goes on, Louis Farrakhan, to write: "Mr. Daniel Pearl is a journalist, is not a combatant, and should be released. Our religion, Islam, is under trial. The world is watching. To execute or murder this man will increase hatred for Islam and damage the reputation of Muslims throughout the world."

Mr. Farrakhan goes go on to criticize American foreign policy and ask the American government to grant POW status to those detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

This comes on a day of what has been the most disturbing development since the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl over a week ago, when another e-mail has been received claiming that the "Wall Street Journal" journalist has been killed. That has yet to be confirmed. It also comes on the same day when police in Karachi say they received a phone call demanding millions of dollars in ransom money for Mr. Pearl's release.

"The Wall Street Journal" has also released a statement saying they remain hopeful that Daniel Pearl is still alive. We continue to track the latest.

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