Freelance American journalist Jill Carroll was freed Thursday in Baghdad after nearly three months in captivity, according to her editor at The Christian Science Monitor, who said Carroll is in “healthy condition.”
“She was released this morning, she’s talked to her father and she’s fine,” said David Cook, a Christian Science Monitor editor in Washington, D.C., the Associated Press reports.
“Obviously, we are thrilled and relieved that she has been released,” her father, Jim, told the AP at his house in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Carroll, 28, was reportedly dropped off near the Iraqi Islamic Party offices. She went inside, where people called American officials, according to Iraqi police.
“I was treated well, but I don’t know why I was kidnapped,” she said in an interview on Baghdad television.
Carroll had been held hostage since Jan. 7 by a previously unknown insurgent group calling itself Brigades of Vengeance. Abducting Carroll as she was en route to an interview, the gunmen killed her interpreter, Allan Enwiyah, 32, and threatened kill her in three days unless American authorities released all female detainees in Iraq – as Carroll stated in a Jan. 17 video released by her kidnappers.
A second video, time-stamped Jan. 28, showed Carroll in a headscarf, sobbing, though there was no audio. Arab television station Al-Jazeera, however, said that in the tape Carroll was asking U.S. and Iraqi authorities to free all women prisoners to help “in winning her release.”
In a third video, released on Feb. 9, Carroll said in a calm voice: “I am here. I am fine. Please just do whatever they want, give them whatever they want as quickly as possible. There is a very short time. Please do it fast. That’s all.”
Carroll’s parents and twin sister, Katie, had made repeated appeals for her release on Arab TV. Katie Carroll made the last plea on Wednesday, appearing on Al-Arabiya and calling her sister a “wonderful person” who is an “innocent woman.”
“No family should have to endure having their loved one taken away from them in this way,” Katie Carroll said Wednesday.