Wood seeks asylum for Iraqi rescuers
Former Iraqi insurgent captive Douglas Wood has made a plea to the federal government to grant asylum to two of the soldiers who rescued him.
Mr Wood, who spent six weeks under threat of death until rescued in April 2005 by Iraqi soldiers led by Colonel Mohammed Al-Samarae, said two of his rescuers had been denied entry into Australia.
In an open letter to the prime minister, Mr Wood said Australia had shabbily treated Colonel Mohammed and his other rescuers.
The colonel has fled Iraq after many attempts on his life and the murder of several family members, including his father and father-in-law.
Of the seven soldiers who gave evidence in the court case against the terrorists, five have been murdered in payback by the terrorists, Mr Wood said.
He said Colonel Mohammed had repeatedly been refused entry to Australia and had now found asylum in a third undisclosed country but wanted his two surviving soldiers to start a new life in Australia.
"Colonel Mohammed ordered them to get out of Iraq, and he is personally providing them with rent and food - they still live in fear," Mr Wood said in his letter to Kevin Rudd.
He said Colonel Mohammed took the two to Malaysia where they applied for a visa to Australia in October last year.
"Copies of documents were left and they received a phone call advising them to return the next day - they were taken inside the embassy but were again given a negative response," Mr Wood said.
"Allowing young men to be killed by terrorists for rescuing an Australian provides the terrorists with a victory.
"It also discourages civilians from cooperating with the forces of freedom and democracy.
"I urge you to help these two young men come to Australia and contribute to our great nation."
The prime minister's office had not responded to Mr Wood's letter by late on Monday.