Iraq – Freedom of the press – Kidnapping of journalist Afrah Shawqi (December 27, 2016)

France was shocked and concerned to learn of the kidnapping of the journalist Afrah Shawqi on December 27 in Baghdad.

We assure the Iraqi authorities of our support for the investigation demanded by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and express our hope that Ms. Shawqi will be released in the very near future.

France applauds the courage of Ms. Shawqi, who has notably worked to defend women’s rights and is renowned and appreciated in Iraq and beyond. She has also been active in exposing atrocities committed by armed groups.

We reiterate our commitment to the freedom of the press and freedom of expression throughout the world. Iraqi journalists have paid a heavy toll in the defense of that freedom, as noted in the report published today by the Iraqi professional group: 455 journalists have been killed since 2003, including 20 in 2016 alone.

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