Journalists were together in captivity

Two Romanian hostages freed in Iraq last month have said they were held together with the French captive Florence Aubenas, who was released on Sunday along with her Iraqi interpreter.

    Aubenas was abducted near Baghdad on 5 January

    "We are incredibly happy that she has been freed, because we were held in the same place for almost a month and a half, from the first of April," journalist Marie-Jeanne Ion told Romania's Realitatea TV.
     
    "Florence was remarkable throughout. She constantly encouraged us. She is amazingly strong."
      
    Sorin Miscoci - the cameraman held with Ion and a third Romanian journalist, said he was "extremely happy" to learn that Aubenas had been freed after her five-month-long hostage ordeal in Iraq.
      
    "We have kept quiet about the details of our captivity in Iraq precisely because we hoped that Florence would be released," Sorin added.
      
    Aubenas, a reporter for the French daily Liberation, and her Iraqi interpreter Hussein Hanun were abducted near Baghdad on 5 January, while Ion, Sorin and print journalist Eduard Ohanesian were kidnapped in March and held for 55 days.
      
    Since their release on 22 May, the Romanian journalists had said they needed to be vague about their time in captivity so as not to endanger others still being held in Iraq. 

    Romanian President Traian Basescu also said last week he was "not authorised" to reveal how the authorities managed to secure their release as "the Romanian government is not the only one involved in this operation."

    The release of Aubenas and Hanun was announced on Sunday. Hanun was reunited with his family in Baghdad, while Aubenas was on a plane returning to Paris via Cyprus.

    SOURCE: AFP


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