By: NADIA ABOU EL-MAGD, Associated Press Writer
(AP) Al-Jazeera aired a new videotape Monday of kidnapped U.S. journalist Jill Carroll, showing her wearing an Islamic veil and weeping as she purportedly appealed for the release of female Iraqi prisoners.
The video is dated Saturday, two days after the U.S. military released five Iraqi women detainees. U.S. officials said the release had nothing to do with the kidnappers’ demands.
The video had no sound, but the Al-Jazeera newscaster said Carroll appealed to the U.S. military and the Iraqi Interior Ministry to free all women in their prisons and said this “would help in winning her release.”
The U.S. military released five Iraqi women last Thursday and were believed be holding several more. It was unclear how many women were held by Iraqi authorities.
If the date is correct, it would be the first sighting of Carroll since a Jan. 20 deadline her captors set in an earlier video, threatening to kill her if all Iraqi women weren’t released from U.S. and Iraqi prisons. The deadline passed with no word on her fate amid widespread calls from Iraqi and Islamic leaders for her to be freed.
At one point, Carroll’s cracking voice can be heard from behind the newscaster’s voice. All that can be heard is Carroll saying, “…hope for the families…” Al-Jazeera did not report that the video set any deadline or include any threats.
[The Christian Science Monitor voiced distress for the welfare of Carroll. “Anyone with a heart will feel distressed that an innocent woman like Jill Carroll would be treated in the manner shown in the latest video,” said the Monitor’s editor Richard Bergenheim. ]
The name of the group that has claimed responsibility for Carroll’s abduction, the Revenge Brigades, appeared in the top left corner of the video.
Armed men abducted Carroll, a 28-year-old freelance reporter for The Christian Science Monitor, on Jan. 7 in Baghdad.
On Jan. 17, Al-Jazeera aired a video released by the Revenge Brigades showing Carroll — her head bare, and her long straight brown hair parted in the middle — and setting the Jan. 20 deadline.
That tape also was aired without sound. Al-Jazeera editors said their policy was to air such videos without audio because the voice was too upsetting for viewers and that the newscasters report the videos’ content.