Romanian media workers ask Iraqi ambassador for help regarding kidnapped journalists

Thursday, May 5, 2005

A Romanian media workers' union has asked the Iraqi ambassador in Bucharest, Adel Murad Ali Murad, to help with the safe release of the three Romanian journalists kidnapped in Iraq in late March. The journalists wrote to the ambassador saying, "We are convinced that the authorities in your country [Iraq] are doing everything possible to resolve the situation. Yet we are obliged to transmit our desire and hopes that efforts will be intensified."

The fate of the journalists in the past few days has been quite underreported in the Romanian media, as the deadline for their killing has passed yet President Traian Băsescu said this Monday that he knows "for certain" the three are alive. The terrorists which kidnapped them aired a tape on Al-Jazeera, on April 23, that they would kill the journalists by April 27 if Romania does not withdraw its 860 troops from Iraq. Romania declined to withdraw the troops, and it seems the terrorists did not enforce their deadline.

Meanwhile, Romanian authorities have been trying to secure the release of the journalists. Foreign Minister Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu visited Damascus, Syria, last week, where he discussed the situation.

Many Romanian media workers remembered the fate of the three journalists as part of World Press Freedom Day, which occurred yesterday.