Abduction of Jill Carroll
News and Information

CPJ welcomes release of Jill Carroll

New York, March 30, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's release of Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter on assignment for The Christian Science Monitor who had been held captive in Iraq for nearly three months. Carroll was freed at mid-day in Baghdad. She was reported in good health and told reporters that she was treated well and was not harmed. "We are overjoyed that this ordeal has finally ended and that Jill Carroll has been returned safely," CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said.

Monitor broadcasts its message over Iraq TV for kidnapped journalist.

The Christian Science Monitor has begun an Iraqi television campaign appealing for the release of the newspaper’s kidnapped stringer, Jill Carroll. A videotaped message first ran on state-run Al-Iraqiya on Tuesday; the same message ran the following day on the private Al-Sharqiya television station, The Associated Press reported from Baghdad. The Monitor’s Arabic-language message begins with a line of text that reads: "Please help with the release of Jill Carroll." Pictures of the 28-year-old journalist follow, including one in which she is wearing an Islamic head scarf. The Monitor also plans to run the message on Arabic-language satellite TV stations, AP reported. [Posted March 9, 2006.]

Minister says Islamic Army behind abduction
The Islamic Army in Iraq, one of the country's principal insurgent groups, is believed to be responsible for holding U.S. journalist Jill Carroll, Interior Minister Bayan Jabr said on February 28. Earlier videotapes provided by the kidnappers to Arab satellite television stations had identified the group as the previously unknown "Revenge Brigades." Jabr said he believed the 28-year-old freelance reporter for the Christian Science Monitor was still alive, The Associated Press reported. The Islamic Army in Iraq was thought to be behind the earlier kidnappings of Italian freelancer Enzo Baldoni; Christian Chesnot, a reporter with Radio France-Internationale and Radio France; and Georges Malbrunot, a reporter with the French dailies Le Figaro and Ouest France. Baldoni was killed in captivity, while the others were released after several months. [Posted March 1, 2006.]

Iraqi official believes kidnapped journalist is alive
The Sunday deadline that kidnappers had set for Jill Carroll passed without news of her fate, but Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr told ABC News, "I think she is still alive." Iraqi forces raided homes over the weekend searching for Carroll but without results, according to The Christian Science Monitor for which Carroll reported as a freelance journalist. Jabr also told ABC News that Iraqi authorities may know the identities of the captors holding her hostage.
[Posted February 27, 2006]

CPJ issued the following statement on Friday, February 24, on abducted reporter Jill Carroll:
"As a new deadline approaches, the Committee to Protect Journalists urges Jill Carroll's captors to release the journalist immediately," CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said. "Her kidnappers sent a message two weeks ago that they would kill the journalist by Feb. 26 if their demands are not met. Many leading Arab and Muslim journalists, scholars and others have come out publicly calling for her release and we join them in their appeal. Jill Carroll is a highly respected journalist committed to covering all sides in the Iraqi conflict. We urge her captors to free her so that she can return to this important work."

Cooper added: "Jill Carroll is one of three journalists now being held by kidnappers in Iraq. Marwan Ghazal and Reem Zaeed of Iraqi Samaria TV remain missing after being abducted in Baghdad on Feb. 1. CPJ urgently calls on the kidnappers to release these two Iraqi journalists."

Kuwaiti TV chief: Kidnappers set a new deadline for Carroll
Kidnappers holding Jill Carroll have set a February 26 deadline for their demands to be met, or they will kill the journalist, the owner of Kuwaiti TV station Al Rai told The Associated Press. Jassem Boudai told the AP that he had received the information from "sources close to the kidnappers.” He said that Carroll is in good physical condition and is with a group of women "in a safe house owned by one of the kidnappers in downtown Baghdad." The kidnappers have demanded publicly that the United States release all female Iraqi prisoners, but Boudai said they have "more specific demands” as well. He would not elaborate. If the demands are not met, Boudai added, his sources said the kidnappers will execute Carroll. [Posted February 10, 2006]

Kuwaiti TV station broadcasts 3rd videotape
A private television channel in Kuwait, Al Rai TV, broadcast a videotape of the kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll. The 28-year-old freelance reporter looked and sounded composed, unlike in the videotape released by her captors last week where Carroll is seen weeping on camera and speaking in a cracked voice. In this video, she is wearing a green head scarf while calmly saying, "I am here. I am fine. Please just do whatever they want, give them whatever they want as quickly as possible." She also said on the tape that she had written a letter confirming she was being held by what she called the mujahedeen in Iraq, Reuters reported. This is the third video of Carroll released by her captors to Arabic-language media since her abduction in Baghdad on January 7. [Posted February 9, 2006]

Arab media renew call for Carroll's release

Footage of Jill Carroll aired by Al-Jazeera on Monday has prompted renewed efforts particularly among Arab media for her release, The Christian Science Monitor reported. An impromptu group of Iraqi editors is getting together to work on her release, and the front page of Baghdad's New Dawn newspaper Wednesday carried a public service announcement with a picture of Carroll urging her captors to free her. [Posted February 02, 2006]

Al-Jazeera broadcasts 2nd videotape of kidnapped journalist
The Al-Jazeera satellite network aired a videotape on Monday of the journalist Jill Carroll wearing an Islamic head scarf and appearing distraught. An Al-Jazeera newscaster said that the tape had been made on Saturday, The Associated Press reported. The broadcast video did not have sound for the most part, but Carroll was said to appeal for the release of female Iraqi prisoners, Al-Jazeera reported. The name of her captors, the Revenge Brigades, appeared in the top left corner of the video. The tape is the second to be released by her captors. In a message accompanying the first tape, which was released on January 17, the kidnappers threatened to kill Carroll unless U.S. and Iraqi forces released all female Iraqi prisoners. Last week, U.S. forces released five of the 10 Iraqi women known to be in U.S. custody. U.S. officials denied that the release had anything to do with the captors' demands. [Posted January 30, 2006]

Leading Jordanian journalists, others call for release
A coalition of 37 leading Jordanian and other Arab journalists, political figures and intellectuals have signed a declaration calling for journalist Jill Carroll's release. "Consideration of her release should not be related to her nationality, but rather, to her role, message, and reports that testify to her credibility, independence, and honesty. The kidnapping of Carroll then is a kidnapping of one of the witnesses of the human suffering of the Iraqi people," the statement said in part. It concludes: "We are mindful of the fact that The Christian Science Monitor, for which Ms. Carroll works, is best known for its objectivity and authenticity in dealing with the news of Iraq. The newspaper also was awarded seven Pulitzer prizes for journalism, including one for the role it undertook in disclosing the massacre that was committed against thousands of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica." [Posted January 27, 2006]

Report: Mother of freed prisoner seeks Carroll's release
The mother of one of the five Iraqi women released by U.S. authorities has joined the chorus of advocates calling for journalist Jill Carroll's release. "She'll be fine and she will come out very soon because she loves Iraq and she loves Iraqis, so God will never forget her," Siham Faraj, the mother of Hala Khalid Wahid, who was detained by U.S. forces in Iraq four months ago, told The Christian Science Monitor. "I don't think Jill Carroll's situation has anything to do with the release of my daughter, but we definitely feel her pain." [Posted January 26]

Five female Iraqi prisoners are freed

The U.S. military released five Iraqi women on Thursday, delivering them to the home of a senior Sunni politician in Baghdad, according to The Associated Press. The captors holding journalist Jill Carroll have threatened to kill her unless Iraqi and U.S. authorities release female Iraqi prisoners. U.S. officials told reporters in Baghdad that the release of the female prisoners was routine and had nothing to do with the kidnappers' demands.[Posted January 26]

Report: Iraqi prisoners to be released
A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad confirmed previous statements by Iraqi Interior Ministry officials that five Iraqi women being held as prisoners would be released on Thursday, January 26, The Christian Science Monitor reported from Baghdad. The Iraqi captors holding the journalist Jill Carroll, who writes freelance articles for The Monitor, threatened to kill her unless Iraqi women being held prisoner by U.S. and Iraqi authorities were released. The U.S. military spokesman said the scheduled release of the five prisoners was unrelated to the kidnappers' demands.[January 25, 2006]

Hamas leader issues plea
A top official of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement known as Hamas has called for Iraqi captors to release the journalist Jill Carroll. "Hamas joins those who ask to release American citizen Jill Carroll," Saeed Syam said on January 23. "Hamas is against the kidnapping of innocent people, of foreigners who are guests in the Arab countries, and those who introduce humanitarian services and help for the Arab people—and for any people in general—especially when they are not interfering in internal Arab affairs. We have declared many times we are totally against kidnapping civilians." [Posted January 25, 2005]

Egyptian attorney urges release
A noted Egyptian defense attorney has called for the release of journalist Jill Carroll. "I learned from media reports and from friends who knew the kidnapped reporter that she was well-known for her sympathy toward the Iraqi people since the start of the terrible occupation. She observed the Arab and Islamic traditions, and dressed modestly out of respect to the Iraqi customs derived from Islam," Montasser al-Zayat said on January 23. Al-Zayat is a former member of the Egyptian Islamic Group known as Gamaa Islamiya. [Posted January 25, 2005]

Father: "She is not your enemy'
Jim Carroll, the father of journalist Jill Carroll, issued a statement on January 22 urging kidnappers not to see her as an enemy. "I wish to speak to the men holding my daughter," he said. "I hope that you heard the conviction in Jill's voice when speaking of your country. That was real. She is not your enemy." [Posted January 25, 2005]

CPJ welcomes calls by leading Muslims for Carroll's release
New York, January 19, 2006—
The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes calls by prominent Muslims around the world for the release of U.S. reporter Jill Carroll who faces death at the hands of her Iraqi kidnappers. A brief video aired on Tuesday showing the 28-year-old freelancer in captivity has prompted an outpouring of appeals for her safe return by groups ranging from leading Sunni Arabs in Iraq and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to Muslims in the United States.

CPJ issues appeal as kidnappers in Iraq threaten reporter
New York, January 17, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply alarmed by a report today that kidnappers in Iraq have threatened to kill U.S. reporter Jill Carroll if the United States does not free all female Iraqi prisoners within 72 hours.

CPJ appeals for release of journalist kidnapped in Iraq

New York, January 9, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the abduction of U.S. reporter Jill Carroll in Baghdad, and the murder of her Iraqi interpreter. Carroll, a freelancer on assignment in Iraq for the Christian Science Monitor, was seized on January 7 by unidentified gunmen in the Adil neighborhood of western Baghdad with her interpreter, Allan Enwiyah, the newspaper reported today.