Reporters Without Borders (RWB) held a demonstration in Paris on Tuesday to mark the 30th day of captivity for American freelance journalist Jill Carroll, who was kidnapped in Baghdad by the previously unknown group Revenge Brigade on January 7. According to RWB, 37 journalists, including eight women, have been abducted in Iraq since March of 2003, and five have been killed.
Working for the Christian Science Monitor, Carroll had arranged to meet Adnan al-Doulaimi, a Sunni politician, when she was abducted and her interpreter was killed. Two videotapes of Carroll have since been shown on Al Jazeera, on January 17 and 30. On the first, according to the New York Times, members of the Revenge Brigade threatened to murder Carroll unless the United States military released all of its female Iraqi prisoners. On the second tape, Carroll pleaded for the women to be released. The American military has released five women, though it claims that the release was not made in response to Carroll’s abduction and her kidnappers’ threat, the Times reports.
According to the Monitor, among those calling for Carroll’s release are 37 Arab politicians, writers, and academics. In a publicly released letter, they stated, “Consideration of her release should not be related to her nationality, but rather, to her role, message, and reports that testify to her credibility, independence, and honesty. The kidnapping of Carroll then is a kidnapping of one of the witnesses of the human suffering of the Iraqi people.” Statements of support for Carroll and calls for her release have been made throughout the Arab world. A poster of Carroll has been hung on the faade of Rome’s City Hall, where it will remain until she is released, reports the Monitor.