Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders

January 20, 2006 11:05 ET

Support from the Canadian Muslim Community Continues to Grow Following the Call from Reporters Without Borders Canada to Mobilise in Favor of Jill Caroll...

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 20, 2006) -

...the American Journalist Abducted in Irak January 7, 2006.

At the invitation of Reporters Without Borders Canada, the Canadian Muslim community is mobilising on behalf of American journalist Jill Caroll, who has been detained in Iraq since January 7, 2006. "We are very pleased to see the engagement from Canada's Muslim communities and we hope this message will be heard" : said Francois Bugingo, President of the organisation.

The Canadian branch of the press freedom organisation invited Canada's Muslim communities to mobilise in support of the journalist who has done nothing but her job: informing Iraqis and the international community about the war in Iraq.

The Muslim Counsil of Montreal (CMM), the umbrella group for Islamic organizations and Sunni mosques in Montreal, the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, the Muslim Canadian Congress and Reporters Without Borders Canada are demanding her immediate and unconditional release.

The CMM expressed its sympathy for Ms. Caroll's family and friends and appealed to the kidnappers for clemency. "I appeal, in the name of humanity, to those holding Ms. Caroll to lift their ultimatum of Friday, January 20. I am also praying and hoping that she will be released soon and will be able to return safely to her family." said Salam Elmenyawi, president of the CMM.

The 20-second video screened by Al-Jazeera on January 17th showed Carroll apparently talking to the camera but it had no sound. Only her face, neck and shoulders could be seen. She was wearing a light grey sweat-shirt. A source at the Qatar-based TV station said the group holding her, which threatened to kill her within 72 hours, called itself the "Vengeance Brigade." The deadline expires Friday, January 20th at the end of the day.

Appeals for her release were made by her family and by the Christian Science Monitor and the Jordan Times, two of the newspapers for which she writes. Carroll is a freelance reporter who has been writing for US, Italian and Jordanian media.

Carroll was kidnapped by gunmen at about 10 a.m. on January 7 in the west Baghdad neighbourhood of Adel, where she had expected to meet with a Sunni politician, Adnan al-Doulaimi. The body of her interpreter, Allan Enwiyah, was found at the scene of the abduction. He had been shot dead.

A total of 55 journalists and 22 media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the start of the war in March, 2003. Of the 77 victims, 56 (73 per cent) were Iraqi and four (5 per cent) were American.

Carroll is the 35th media worker to be kidnapped since the start of the war. Five of the kidnap victims (four Iraqis and Enzo Baldoni of Italy) were killed by their abductors. The others were all released safe and sound. Twenty-three of these kidnappings have taken place in or near Baghdad.

Despite its name, the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor is not a religious newspaper. It is well known for the quality and thoroughness of both its international and domestic coverage.

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