Editor abducted in Baghdad

New York, August 16, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the abduction of an Iraqi editor by unidentified assailants in Baghdad yesterday.

Seif Abd al-Jabbar al-Tamimi, an editor for Al-Akha’ newspaper, which is affiliated with the Iraqi National Turkoman Party, was seized in Baghdad’s al-Adil neighborhood, according to Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, an Iraqi press freedom organization run by local journalists.

The abductors, driving an Opel car, sped west of Baghdad with al-Tamimi, the organization reported, quoting eyewitnesses.

It remains unclear why al-Tamimi was kidnapped and no group has claimed responsibility for the abduction. CPJ is investigating to determine whether the abduction is related to journalism.

“We call for the immediate release of Seif Abd al-Jabbar al-Tamimi,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said.

Armed groups have kidnapped at least 39 other journalists in Iraq since April 2004, when insurgents began targeting foreigners for abduction, CPJ research shows. Journalists Marwan Ghazal and Reem Zaeed, from the privately owned television station Samaria TV, were taken by gunmen in Baghdad’s Yarmouk district on February 1, and remain missing. The other journalists were eventually freed, but six were killed.

Jill Carroll, a U.S. freelance journalist working for the Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped in al-Adil neighborhood on January 7 and held for nearly three months. She was released unharmed. |