Journalist, translator missing, feared abducted

New York, August 16, 2004—The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by reports that a French-American journalist and his translator have gone missing in Iraq and may have been abducted.

Micah Garen, a journalist with the U.S.-based Four Corners Media, and his translator Amir Doushi, were abducted Friday by two armed men in civilian clothes in a busy market in the southern city of Nasiriyah, The Associated Press reported today.

Police told the AP they launched an investigation after Doushi’s family reported him missing. CPJ is urgently seeking more details on the case.

“We call on those who may be holding Micah Garen and Amir Doushi to release them immediately and unconditionally,” CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said.

Four Corners Media produces documentary work in still photography, video and print media, according to its Web site, which says the organization has undertaken projects for many prominent Western news organizations. Garen is listed as one of its three managers.
Garen was working on a project involving antiquities near Nasiriyah, about 200 miles southeast of Baghdad, The AP reported.

Garen would be the 11th journalist abducted by an armed group in Iraq in 2004, according to CPJ research. The previous 10 were eventually released. Since March 2003 at least 30 journalists and as many as 11 media workers have been killed in Iraq by Iraqi forces, armed groups, and U.S. troops.