Friday, September 03, 2004

PR WASHINGTON DC: Arab Journalists denounce kidnapping of journalists in Iraq, call for Frence journalist's release 9-03-04

September 3, 2004


The Washington Association of Arab Journalists (WAAJ), an organization of about 40 journalists representing most of the key media in the Arab world, condemns in the strongest terms the continued kidnaping of journalists in Iraq and calls for the immediate release of the two French correspondents now being held as hostages by an Iraqi-based insurgent group.

Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot, who are with Le Figaro and Radio France International respectively, have been reportedly kidnaped by the Islamic Army of Iraq since August 19. They were in Iraq as were other journalists from all parts of the world trying to cover the deplorable conflict; and their cruel incarceration does not in any way promote, in fact has to date been injurious to the national interests of Iraq. More sadly, it has given Arabs and Muslims alike a bad image, particularly in the West – something that they can ill-afford during these turbulent times.

We appeal to all those involved in this sordid case to exercise caution so that the two hostages be released forthwith unharmed. WAAJ wishes to underline once more that journalists, like other humanitarian groups, are only in Iraq to report on this bloody conflict as honestly as possible. In no way should they become pawns to serve the interests of one group or another.

George S. HishmehPresidentWashington Association of Arab Journalists

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