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Iraq: Mother Pleads for Reporter's Release

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The mother of abducted American reporter Jill Carroll appealed Thursday for her daughter’s release, after her captors threatened to kill her if U.S. authorities don’t release all Iraqi women in military custody.

“I, her father and her sister are appealing directly to her captors to release this young woman who has worked so hard to show the sufferings of Iraqis to the world,” Mary Beth Carroll tells CNN. Her daughter, a 28-year-old freelance journalist for The Christian Science Monitor, was abducted Jan. 7.

Speaking to the young woman’s captors, Mary Beth Carroll added: “We call upon you to ensure that Jill is returned safely to her family, who needs her and loves her.”

Jill Carroll
On Tuesday Al-Jazeera TV aired the first video images of Jill Carroll since her capture. The report said the 20-second video included a threat to kill her in 72 hours unless U.S. authorities agreed to release all women detainees in Iraq. Insurgents in Iraq, mainly Sunni Arab militants, have kidnapped more than 240 foreigners and killed at least 39.

There were unconfirmed reports Thursday that the U.S. planned to release six female Iraqi detainees, but there was no word on whether it was tied to Carroll’s abduction.

Carroll said her daughter has always shown the highest respect for the Iraqi people and their customs in her reporting. Jill Carroll was abducted in one of Baghdad’s most dangerous neighborhoods while being driven to meet a Sunni Arab politician, who failed to appear for the interview. Carroll’s translator was killed, but her driver escaped.

“We hope that her captors will show Jill the same respect in return,” says her mother. “Taking vengeance on my innocent daughter, who loves Iraq and its people, will not create justice.”