The International Federation of Journalists has appealed to journalists’ groups in Iraq to assist in the hunt for missing journalist Rory Carroll, an Irish journalist working for the Guardian newspaper, who is thought to have been kidnapped.
“We are calling on all media and journalists’ groups to support efforts to find our missing colleague,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “Iraqi reporters and foreign correspondents have suffered heavily in this conflict and we need the maximum of professional solidarity to get the message out that journalists should not be targeted.”
The IFJ says it will work with the Federation of Arab Journalists and a number of key journalists’ groups it has been supporting in Iraq to try to obtain information about the whereabouts of Carroll who is thought to have been abducted by armed men while on assignment in Baghdad.
He was working in the Sadr City area, a stronghold of Shia extremists, before his disappearance. In previous cases the militant cleric Moqtada Sadr has spoken out against kidnapping of journalists.
“We hope that whoever has taken Carroll will release him immediately,” said White. The kidnapping of journalists is a shocking violation of civilized values and can never be justified.”
The IFJ says that the reported abduction of Carroll is further evidence of the dangers facing all journalists in Iraq where many foreign media companies have pulled their own staff out of frontline reporting and rely heavily upon local freelance staff to gather information for them.
The IFJ solidarity centre in Baghdad is currently investigating the case but has confirmed that information remains limited for the time being.
“For months foreign correspondents have been confined to heavily protected locations. This is further evidence of the constant dangers facing reporters,” said White. “As long as journalists, foreign or Iraqi, cannot move freely and face intimidation and threats it is simply absurd to talk of a credible democratic process in Iraq.”
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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries