Monday, March 28, 2005

Three Romanian Journalists Abducted in Iraq

According to the Romanian president Traian Basescu announced that three Romanian journalists were kidnapped Monday in Iraq.
"We have alerted all the secret services and the foreign intelligence services of our allies to solve the case," he told Romanian TVR1 television.

Two of the kidnapped journalists worked for Romania's Prima TV
[the third worked for Romania Libera newspaper], where an editor received a phone call from them saying they had been abducted, TVR1 said.

The three had been making a short reporting trip to Baghdad from Romania.

The statement of the Romanian president would seem to indicate that the Romanians will defer to Multinational Force efforts to secure the journalists' release. Kidnappings of journalists were made much more likely by the actions of the Italian government in the wake of the kidnapping of Italian communist propagandist Giuliana Sgrena. The Italians by many accounts paid a huge ransom to secure Sgrena's release. Sgrena was shot and wounded and one of her rescuers, Nicola Calipari, an Italian secret service agent, was killed when the Italians failed to coordinate with Coalition forces and the driver tried to speed through a US roadblock.

The irresponsible conduct of the Italians, not only in the Sgrena incident, but also in paying a large ransom for the so-called "Two Simonas" virtually guaranteed that more journalists would be abducted.