Up to date: PM Abadi orders probe into Iraqi journalist kidnapping

Baghdad Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered on Tuesday an urgent investigation into the reported kidnapping of an Iraqi journalist by unknown gunmen.

Abadi’s office said in a statement that the prime minister urged security authorities to preserve the safety of journalist Afrah Shawqi and to “Prosecute whoever proved to be involved” into the incident.

Shawqi, a reporter for al-Aalem al-Jadeed online newspaper, was kidnapped Early Tuesday 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.

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

Shawqi has also worked for the Saudi-owned, London-based Asharq al-Awsat, which caused an official and public outcry in Iraq last November when a reporter working for it reported of cases of illegitimate pregnancies among Iraqi women visiting shrines in the holy city of Karbala during the annual Shia religious feast of Ashoura.

The report ignited a diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia and the newspaper had to sack its reporter and offer an apology.

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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