From an Iraqi family: calls for Carroll's release

The following is a transcript of a television interview with the family profiled in Jill Carroll's April 15 article "Ordinary Iraqis bear brunt of war" story.

The transcript is from a Jan. 19 program from Baghdad-based Al Sharqiya TV, a 24-hour news channel.

Sharqiya correspondent: The mission of a journalist ... is to communicate the facts wherever they are.

Circumstances drew her to communicate the suffering of the Iraqi people, who were harmed because of the war that weighs on their backs. Jill Carroll was here in this house, to reduce the suffering of this family whose home was destroyed by a car bomb and whose children were injured.

Her contributions... were not able to rebuild that which was destroyed, but she communicated to the world a picture, similar to that of scores of other families. She was a voice of truth in a time where the suffering of the afflicted is growing, a time when the authorities are only adding to that suffering, and there is no hope for a solution.

Mr. Yasseen: We don't have a home. Our home was destroyed. We live here now in an official capacity [meaning a government-supplied shelter of some sort]. I have letters from the governorate and communications office, and still the government has been harassing us.

At that time, the kidnapped journalist girl was coming and checking up on us, and helping us, and spreading our case in the newspapers. She was coming to see us continuously. I call for her kidnappers to release her. She has done nothing wrong. She loved to help people, no more and no less than that.

Sharqiya correspondent: Sympathy for the plight of Jill, the journalist, pushed many to call for her release, since she is not here representing her country of citizenship, but rather she represents a profession that gives voice to the silenced far and wide. And she shows this situation, surrounded with the debris of war, to the public.

Mrs. Yasseen: She was coming to visit us, to see us, to see our sufferings. I call for all good people to open her cage, and set her free from this misery.

Sharqiya correspondent: Politicians, religious men, and journalists have joined together to call for her release.

Dr. Muthana Harith al-Dhari: The occupation was accompanied by many negative phenomena in society, and among them kidnappings. Our position on this has been clear from the start. We denounce and reject everything that endangers citizens, regardless of who they are, be they citizens or journalists.

Chairman of Iraqi Journalists Syndicate: The Iraqi Journalists Syndicate calls for all the officials, politicians and militants, or any entity that is responsible for the kidnapping the American journalist, to release her. Not because she is American or European, or because she is from this side or that side, but rather because she is a journalist who came to report the suffering of the Iraqi people.

Sharqiya correspondent: No matter what the intentions were of those who kidnapped Jill Carroll, it is not possible to silence a voice that calls for helping the Iraqis, and which shows their situation to the international community. For that she was guilty? Or is it her nationality that caused this tragedy?

This house that was destroyed and its inhabitants who were thrown into the streets, was of interest to Jill Carroll, who gave what she could to get them help. And now she is in dire need of someone to help her.

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