Three Journalists reportedly missing

New York, August 23, 2004—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is deeply concerned about the fate of three journalists who are missing in Iraq and have not been heard from for several days.

Christian Chesnot, a reporter with Radio France-Internationale, and Georges Malbrunot, a reporter with the French daily Le Figaro, have been out of contact with their news outlets since Thursday, August 19, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

The AP cited French Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous as saying that the two journalists remained missing as of today, and that French authorities are seeking to determine their whereabouts.

A third journalist, Italian Enzo Baldoni, has also been reported missing since late last week. The AP reported that Baldoni is freelancing in Iraq for the Italian magazine Diario. There were also reports that Baldoni’s driver may have been killed.

All three journalists were believed to have been heading to the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, where U.S. forces have battled with Shiite insurgents for several weeks.

CPJ is seeking more information about these cases.