New York, February 1, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a report that two Iraqi broadcast journalists were abducted in western Baghdad today.
Journalists Marwan Ghazal and Reem Zaeed, from the privately owned television station Samaria TV, were abducted by gunmen in Baghdad’s Yarmouk district after covering a meeting at the offices of the Iraqi Islamic Party, The Associated Press reported, citing a cameraman working for the station. The cameraman said two other journalists were briefly seized but released.
An Iraqi police official told the AP that the journalists were driving away from the offices when they were stopped by six armed men traveling in two cars. There has been no claim of responsibility.
“We condemn the continued targeting of all innocent civilians, including journalists, and appeal to those holding them to free them at once,” CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said.
Armed groups have kidnapped at least 37 other journalists in Iraq since April 2004, when insurgents began targeting foreigners for abduction, CPJ research shows. Jill Carroll, a U.S. freelance journalist working for the Christian Science Monitor, has been held captive since January 7.
Most of the abducted journalists were eventually freed, but six were killed. Read details of those cases.