FRENCH JOURNALIST KIDNAPPEDOther journalists remain missing

New York, April 13, 2004—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has learned that French journalist Alexandre Jordanov, with TV news agency Capa Television, was abducted on Sunday, April 11, near Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.

Jordanov and his cameraman, Ivan Cerieix, were filming clashes between U.S. troops and Iraqi insurgents after an attack on U.S. convoy. Ceriex, who was taken captive by a group of insurgents, was released the next morning.

Agence France-Presse cited a joint statement by Capa and French TV channel Canal Plus reporting that the two journalists were in Iraq working on a documentary film for Canal Plus, and that the men were separated when they took cover during the fighting.

Reuters reported that Capa “had been in contact, through an intermediary, with a group saying it had kidnapped Jourdanov [sic] but that the contacts had not resulted in his release.”

Other journalists still missing
Three missing Czech journalists believed to have been traveling together from Baghdad to Amman, Jordan, on Sunday morning—Michal Kubal and cameraman Petr Klima, both with the public network Czech Television, and Vit Pohanka, of the public station Czech Radio—are also feared kidnapped.

The Associated Press reported today that Iraqi Minister of Culture Mofeed Al-Jazaeri said that, according to information he has, the Czech journalists are in good health and may be released tomorrow. According to press reports, a taxi driver who was driving the journalists said they were kidnapped by armed Iraqis on the road just outside Baghdad. The taxi driver was not abducted.

Soichiro Koriyama, a freelance Japanese photographer on assignment for the Tokyo-based Asahi Weekly, was kidnapped along with two Japanese aid workers on April 8 by a group calling itself the Mujahideen Squadrons. The group threatened to burn the three captives alive if Japan did not remove its forces from Iraq in three days. The fate of the three Japanese civilians is unknown.