Iraqi journalist essential of interior ministry kidnapped by gunmen

Baghdad Gunmen kidnapped on Tuesday an Iraqi journalist who has recently been critical of the Interior Ministry, but the identities of her kidnappers are yet unknown.

Afrah Shawqi, a reporter for al-Aalem al-Jadeed online newspaper, was kidnapped by an unknown armed group from her residence in Saydiya, Baghdad, her sister, Nibras, wrote on facebook, adding that the group, which arrived in a pickup truck, claimed to be affiliated with security authorities.

Afrah has been recently critical of security performance after an assault by an Interior Ministry officer on a school teacher in the province of Dhi Qar.

Shawqi had written that the officer ordered the school’s headmaster to sack a student who bumped into his own daughter during a stampede.

Social networks users had circulated photos of the officer and his colleagues, all plain-clothed and carrying weapons inside the school.

“There is nothing worse in a country than humiliating a teacher; nothing is worse than neglect by those who carry weapons. If the state is anxious to preserve its prestige, it should hold accountable whoever uses weapons illicitly,” Shawqi wrote on her facebook page early Tuesday.

Seven reporters died in Iraq in 2016, out of a total of 57 who died in in conflict areas across the world, according to a recent report by Reporters Without Borders.

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