Turkish Activists Grab Two Hostages in London

Article excerpt

PETER VICTOR

Two hostages snatched by Turkish political activists in a central London trade centre yesterday were still being held captive late last night.

However, a third hostage, Joe Postlethwaite, a Norwich Union insurance representative who had been making a routine call at the Turkish-British Chamber of Commerce, was released after being held for seven hours.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said he was released at 8.40pm after negotiators secured his freedom. Mr Postlethwaite had been grabbed by the protesters in the confusion when they stormed the building.

The two remaining hostages - the centre's administrator, Solmaz Atan, and Leah Barker, 20, a secretary - were being held inside the four-storey building by 40 members of London's Turkish and Kurdish community who were protesting against the treatment of political prisoners in Turkey's jails.

Police surrounded the building in Goswell Road, Clerkenwell, but were powerless to release the hostages after members of the Committee for Solidarity for Political Prisoners barricaded themselves in. …