Kidnapped Christian Doctor in Iraq Freed in Critical Condition Kidnapping of Christians on Iraqi streets now occurs regularly. Daughters ransom negotiations lead to release of Kirkuk pediatrician after 29 days of torture. ISTANBUL, September 30 (CDN) Islamic kidnappers in Kirkuk, Iraq last week dumped a Christian doctor in critical condition in front of a mosque after 29 days of torture and threats to him and his family. Thanks to his 23-year-old daughters negotiations with the terrorists, 55-year-old Sameer Gorgees Youssif was freed but with wounds, hematomas and bruises covering his body; throughout his captivity, he lay bound and gagged. He was abducted at around 8:15 p.m. on Aug. 18 as he was walking home from his pediatric clinic in a relatively safe district of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, sources told Compass. The kidnappers, presumably insurgents, beat him and stuffed him in the trunk of a car amid an electrical blackout in the neighborhood. As they sped off, the abductors killed one of the doctors neighbors, identified only as Askar, with a single gunshot to his heart. He died immediately. Sources said Askar, a Christian man in his fifties, heard the doctor yelling for help and, thinking it was one of his sons, ran to the car to stop it as it sped away. Youssif, a father of two, is the fourth Christian doctor confirmed to be kidnapped in Kirkuk in the last two years; kidnapping of Christians in general and holding them for ransom is a regular occurrence in Iraq. This is a daily activity, said an anonymous Iraqi Christian of the abductions taking place in Iraq. They do it all the time. I dont know what kind of government we have. They are not providing protection, and they are even afraid of insurgents. Hikmat Saeed, a Christian who was kidnapped in late August, was released on Sept. 11, and Salem Barjo, another Christian taken in August, was found dead on Sept. 3, according to Middle East Concern. Both men were abducted in Mosul. Ransom Demands The doctors family did not report the incident to the police, fearing negative repercussions in the event that officers were also involved in the crime. The kidnappers called Youssifs wife a few days later, demanded half a million dollars in ransom and threatened to kill him if they did not receive the money. When asked where she would find such a huge amount, insurgents reportedly responded, You are a woman; you can go and beg at the mosques or churches, said an anonymous Christian Iraqi source from Erbil. After twice speaking to the kidnappers, Youssifs wife was said to begin experiencing numbness on her right side due to the stress. She was unable to resume negotiations, and her 23-year-old daughter started bargaining for her fathers life. I was the one talking to them and negotiating with them, she said. Its all in Gods hands. He gave me the power to talk to them. I was begging them, saying, Dont do anything to him. The doctors daughter, who requested her name be withheld, said that for two weeks the kidnappers insisted on $500,000, and then dropped the amount to $300,000. I said, We dont have that, have mercy on us, she said. The terrorists found phone numbers of friends on the doctors mobile phone and called them, instructing them to tell his family that if they did not produce the money they would kill the doctor. In the end, the kidnappers lowered the amount to $100,000. They were threatening us all the time, and we were living in hell, his daughter said. We just stayed and prayed and fasted and closed the doors and locked them. We were afraid that maybe they would come here and kill all of us. God was our only hope. The family said they were able to collect the money through the generosity of friends; they are not sure how they will be able to pay it back.