BBC: Some Female Iraqi Prisoners May Get Released–Carroll Related?

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By: E&P Staff

Iraq’s Ministry of Justice will reportedly grant an early release to six of the eight women being held by coalition forces in Iraq, according to the BBC. It’s not known for certain if this is a response to demands from the abductors of kidnapped reporter Jill Carroll.

In an online report on its Web site, the BBC claims, “The six will be freed because there is insufficient evidence to charge them, a justice ministry spokesman said.”

The report added that U.S. forces refused to confirm the releases. The abductors of Carroll, a Christian Science Monitor freelancer kidnapped Jan. 7, have threatened to kill her if all Iraqi women prisoners are not released by Friday.

“The status of prisoners held by coalition forces is reviewed twice a week by a committee made up of the justice, human rights and interior ministries, and a representative of the US-led coalition,” the BBC added. “The justice ministry spokesman said it was this committee which had studied the cases of the six women and found insufficient evidence against them.”

But, the BBC report also said “the US military stressed that decisions over such matters were a detailed process that were unrelated to any other operational activity.”

Monitor editors had no comment on the BBC report, but planned to hold a news briefing out of the paper’s Washington bureau later this afternoon.

The paper also posted a story today on its Web site about reaction from different Islamic groups and leaders urging Carroll’s release. The story said “Those calling upon her abductors in Iraq to show mercy included senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, and some of Iraq’s most influential Sunni Arab leaders, including Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Iraqi Accordance Front.”

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