Abducted female journalist set free by gunmen in Iraq

Baghdad, Jan 4 (IANS) An Iraqi woman journalist and activist kidnapped from her Baghdad home by unidentified gunmen last week has been freed, the media reported on Wednesday.

“The militant group kidnapped Afrah Shawqi and set her free late last night (Tuesday) in Baghdad and the incident is under investigation,” Xinhua news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The kidnappers also returned Shawqi’s personal jewels and her car after they stole them earlier from her house.

On December 26, masked armed men broke into the house of the journalist in Saidiya district in southern Baghdad and kidnapped her.

The journalist was deliberated as one of the critics of the country’s corruption, and recently wrote an article which tackled the consequences of the proliferation of armed groups beyond the law.

Shortly after her release, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi phoned Shawqi to reassure her about her safety and promised to pay her a visit later, according to local media.

Iraq is considered one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, who have been frequently targeted following the chaos and insecurity since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.