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Gunmen Kidnap Iraqi Female Journalist In Baghdad


Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has ordered an investigation into the abduction of a journalist in Baghdad (file photo)

Iraqi authorities say unidentified gunmen have broken into the home of a female journalist and kidnapped her.

Afrah Shawqi al-Qaisi, an outspoken critic of government institutions and the country's endemic corruption, was abducted on December 26 from her home in Baghdad.

Hours before, she published an article in which she expressed anger that armed groups act in the country with impunity.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has ordered the security forces to investigate the kidnapping and to "exert the utmost effort" to save her.

Iraq's Interior Ministry said in a December 27 statement that it had formed a team to look into Qaisi's abduction.

Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urged Abadi to make good on his pledge to find her "as soon as possible."

"We are extremely concerned and firmly condemn this abduction," RSF chief editor Virginie Dangles said in a statement.

"We urge the prime minister to keep his word to do everything possible to find Afrah Shawqi and those responsible for taking her,” Dangles said.

"We also point out that the government has a duty to improve the safety of journalists in Iraq," she added.

Iraq is among the world's most dangerous countries for journalists.

The country ranked second in the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) 2016 Index of Impunity, which calculates the number of unsolved murders over a 10-year period as a percentage of each country's population.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP and AP
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