US journalist in fresh video appeal

Jill Carroll, the kidnapped US journalist held in Iraq, has appeared in a new video, weeping and appealing for the release of women Iraqi prisoners.

    Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter, was abducted on 7 January

    The video, aired by Aljazeera on Monday, showed Carroll wearing a veil but carried no sound.

    Aljazeera said the 28-year-old journalist appealed for the release of women Iraqi prisoners.

    The footage had a time signature with the date 28 January.
     
    Aljazeera's newscaster said in the video Carroll appealed to the US military and the Iraqi Interior Ministry to release all women in their prisons and that this "would help in winning her release".
     
    Armed men abducted Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, on 7 January in Baghdad and threatened to kill her unless all Iraqi women prisoners were released.

    Her translator was shot to death dead during the kidnapping.

    The latest video of Carroll was widely reported in the United States, but most television stations refused to broadcast more than a few seconds of it, calling it too disturbing. 

    The Christian Science Monitor expressed deep concern on
    Monday over her fate.

    Editor Richard Bergenheim said: "Anyone with a heart will feel distressed that an innocent woman like Jill Carroll would be treated in the manner shown in the latest video."

    Detainees freed

    The US military said on Thursday it would release five Iraqi women detainees. A US official said the release had nothing to do with the kidnappers' demand.

    Her appearance contrasted with a previous video released on 17 January, which showed Carroll, 28, wearing a grey sweatshirt with her long brown hair loose.

    Carroll was snatched by armed
    men in Baghdad on 7 January

    It was the first news of the journalist since the tape broadcast on 17 January, which threatened to kill her if prisoners in Iraq were not released.

    The corner of the screen was marked with the caption Brigades of Vengeance, the name of the group said to have issued the 17 January tape and claimed her kidnapping.

    She was pictured against a coloured background which appeared to be a carpet.

    More than 400 Iraqi detainees including five women were released last week. But another four women are still held in US-administered prisons.

    The freelance journalist, was abducted by armed men on 7 January in Baghdad who shot and killed dead interpreter. She had visited the office of a prominent Sunni political figure, Adnan al-Dulaimi, whom she had asked to interview.

    Impassioned pleas

    Carroll set out to learn Arabic and cover the Iraq conflict in 2002, moving to Jordan. In 2003, she arrived in Baghdad and later began writing regularly for the Boston-based newspaper The Christian Science Monitor.

    Her parents, US officials, and Dulaimi himself have all made impassioned calls for her release.

    Adnan Dulaimi, the Sunni leader,
    has pleaded for Carroll's release

    The new tape comes amid a new spike in hostage taking in Iraq, with anti-US and anti-government fighters releasing tapes of several foreign captives over the past days.

    A group holding four Western peace activists, captive in Iraq
    since November, last week issued a new video of their captives, saying it was giving a "last chance" for its demands to be met,

    Two German engineers seized in northern Iraq appealed on Friday to Germany to save their lives.

    Earlier this month, two Kenyan telecommunications engineers were kidnapped in Baghdad, but no information had been released on their status or whereabouts.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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