Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the fate of journalist Seif Abd al-Jabbar al-Tamimi, who was kidnapped on 15 August in the Al Adil district of Baghdad. His abductors have not yet made any demands and it has yet to be clearly established whether his kidnapping is linked to his work as editor of Al-Akha, a newspaper that supports a party that defends Iraq’s Turkmen minority.
“We call for the immediate release of Tamimi and all the other journalists and media assistants held in Iraq,” Reporters Without Borders said. The organisation is still hoping for the release of three others who have been kidnapped.
Iraqi journalist Reem Zeid and her colleague Marwan Khazaal of Sumariya TV have been hostages for more than six months. They were kidnapped by four gunmen on 1 February as they left a news conference at the headquarters of the Iraqi Islamic Party in the west Baghdad district of Yarmouk. Sumariya TV is still without any word of their fate.
Salah Jali al-Gharrawi, an accountant working for the French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Baghdad, was kidnapped on 4 April by gunmen in two vehicles with tinted windows and no licence plates. More than four months later, AFP is not aware of any claim of responsibility and still does not know who his abductors are.
A total of 49 journalists and media assistants have been kidnapped in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003. Instead of being afforded a degree of security by the fact that they work for the media, journalists have been singled out as targets.