December 27, 2016
BAGHDAD - Gunmen have kidnapped an Iraqi female journalist after posing as members of the security forces and bursting into her home in Baghdad, authorities said Tuesday.
Afrah Shawqi Hammudi was abducted Monday at around 10:00pm (1900 GMT) from her home in a southern neighborhood of the capital, said Ziad Al-Ajili, head of the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory. “Eight armed men burst into her house in Saidiya dressed in plain clothes and entered by pretending to belong to the security forces,” he told AFP.
“They tied up her son and stole mobile phones, computers and cash before kidnapping Afrah and fleeing.”
The report was confirmed by a source in Iraq’s interior ministry who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Hammudi, 43, is employed by Asharq Al-Awsat, a London-based pan-Arab newspaper, as well as a number of news websites, including Aklaam.
On Monday she published a stinging article on the website in which she hit out at the armed groups which “act with impunity” in Iraq.
Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi condemned her abduction and ordered the security services to do their utmost to find her and track down those responsible.
Iraq is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.
Seven journalists have been killed in the country in 2016, press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said last week. - AFP
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