Iraq asks United States to release 6 Iraqi female prisoners

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Map of Iraq highlighting Baghdad.

The Iraqi government has asked the United States to release 6 of the 8 Iraqi women that are currently prisoners, which Iraq claims is not a bid to get American journalist Jill Carroll freed. A commission reviewing detainee cases has recommended Monday that at least six of them be released.

A Human Rights Ministry official said the call "to free the women was not made in response to demands from Carroll's kidnappers." He then went on to say, "There was no outside pressure on the commission" to recommend releasing the women. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisal from insurgents.

Abductors holding the journalist have made demands that all female Iraqi prisoners be released or they will kill her.

The U.S. said that they currently have 8 women in security detention. But as of Wednesday night, refused to comment on whether or not the women had been released.

Carroll was kidnapped in January when insurgents ambushed her car and killed her translator. She is 28 years old. The abductors gave a 72 hour dead line and are expected to kill her tomorrow if their demands are not met.

Insurgents in Iraq have recently kidnapped more than 240 foreigners and killed at least 39 of them since the beginning of the war. Some estimates of the number of Iraqis kidnapped place it in the hundreds and possibly even thousands.