Journalist Jill Carroll is free

The American reporter kidnapped in Iraq has been released unharmed.


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Katharine Mieszkowski
March 30, 2006 8:58PM (UTC)

It's truly a great day when you can write these words: Jill Carroll is free, unharmed and soon to be reunited with her family. The 28-year-old American reporter for the Christian Science Monitor was kidnapped almost three months ago in Iraq in an ambush attack that killed her translator.

According to the Associated Press, on Thursday, Carroll was dropped off by her captors near the Iraqi Islamic Party offices in Baghdad. She walked into the office, and American authorities were notified.

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In a short interview with a Baghdad TV station, Carroll said: "I was treated well, but I don't know why I was kidnapped." She also said that she was never beaten by her captors, or threatened with beatings. She was kept in a room with a window and had access to a shower, she said, but didn't know where she was. She told the TV station: "I felt I was not free. It was difficult, because I didn't know what would happen to me." Twice during her ordeal, Carroll pleaded for her life before cameras, while her captors issued demands that all women detainees in Iraq be released or she would be killed. Deadlines set by the kidnappers came and went with no word on her condition. Her plight sparked debate about the ethics of negotiating with terrorists.

In a statement following her release, Carroll's family said: "Our hearts are full. We are elated by Jill's safe release. We would like to thank all of the generous people around the world who worked officially or unofficially -- especially those who took personal risk -- to gain Jill's release. We're also very grateful for the support of the Iraqi people who've shown the world a deep compassion for Jill's situation and many people in the press in Baghdad as well."

As news of her release spread, so did the elation. Jackie Spinner, a friend of Carroll's who is a reporter for the Washington Post and has also covered the war in Iraq, told "Good Morning America": "I don't know whether to cry or skip down my street."

Hey, how about both? We'll keep you posted as details of Carroll's ordeal emerge.


Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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