January 06, 2005

French Jouralist Missing in Iraq

- Associated Press

PARIS - A French reporter and her Iraqi interpreter have gone missing from Baghdad, prompting searches for her in hospitals and elsewhere, French officials said Thursday.

The French daily Liberation said it has not heard from Florence Aubenas for more than 24 hours. French, Iraqi and U.S. authorities have been alerted, it added.


Aubenas, 43, and her interpreter Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi "haven't been seen since they left their hotel in Baghdad Wednesday morning," Liberation said on its Web site.


Aubenas was working on stories about women candidates in Iraq's Jan. 30 elections and was seeking to meet refugees from Fallujah, the restive city that U.S.-Iraqi forces invaded in November, Liberation's chairman, Serge July said.

Sad news and hopefully both the French journalist and the interpreter will be found. It is a bit uncommon these days for journalists to roam freely throughout Iraq however without armed guards, therefore it strikes me as odd that Aubenas and her interpreter left the Baghdad hotel.

This is not the first time a Frech journalist has disappeared inside of Iraq. Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot disappeared while covering a story and later appeared in a video made by the Islamic Army of Iraq. The two were released however and are safe in France.

There is no news on the fate of Aubenas and there is still the chance she just forgot to phone in, however there have been numerous attempts at locating Aubenas and her interpreter therefore there is a higher liklihood that she has been abducted by a group in Iraq. If she was abducted, she will probably end up as a cog in the hostage trade that thrives in Iraq.

Cross-posted at In the Bullpen

By at 04:43 PM | Comments |