Iraqi journalist freed after abduction by militia

Iraqi journalist freed after abduction by militia
Security sources said an Iraqi journalist who was abducted by gunmen in the capital last week, was freed on Tuesday.
1 min read
04 January, 2017
Protesters rallied in support of the journalist [AFP]

An Iraqi journalist whose abduction from her Baghdad home by gunmen last week sparked fears about her safety was freed on Tuesday, her sister and security officials said.

Afrah Shawqi's release was confirmed by Iraq's joint operations command in Baghdad.

"It's true," her sister Nibras Shawqi told AFP in a text message when asked about reports of her sibling's release.

Afrah Shawqi, 43 is a journalist employed by London-based pan-Arab newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat  as well as a number of news websites including Aklaam.

Last week, she published a stinging article on the website in which she hit out at the armed groups which "act with impunity" in Iraq.

During a press conference before news of her release on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had said that the motives of the kidnapping were both political and criminal.

Iraq is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, along with Syria, Afghanistan and Mexico.

Seven journalists were killed in the country in 2016, according to press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders, whose 2016 World Press Freedom index ranks Iraq 158 out of 180 countries.