The Jordanian daily Al-Ghad must be commended for its extensive coverage of Jill’s ordeal. In addition to the moving editorial written by Al-Ghad’s editor-in-chief, Ayman Al-Safadi (who hired Jill when he was chief editor of The Jordan Times), the daily has made sure to cover developments in Jill’s story on an almost daily basis. Al-Ghad reports (in Arabic) today that a group of 37 Jordanian and other Arab intellectuals, politicians and journalists have signed a statement calling for Jill’s release. Here is an excerpt:
What the Iraqi people need today are free and independent voices, separate from political and ideological propaganda, to expose the dimensions of this suffering and shed light on the reality. These voices must also be allowed to convey the true picture of the Iraqi people who seek freedom, independence, and the rebuilding of their country. In these crucial and dangerous times, we are shocked by the kidnapping of Jill Carroll, the American journalist, whose freedom was taken the 7th of January, despite the fact that she is well known for her independent, authentic, and objective reports — and her sympathy with the causes and daily suffering of the Iraqi people.
Consideration of her release should not be related to her nationality, but rather, to her role, message, and reports that testify to her credibility, independence, and honesty. The kidnapping of Carroll then is a kidnapping of one of the witnesses of the human suffering of the Iraqi people.
You can read the full statement in English here and in Arabic here. It is worth noting that those signing the statement include a notable number of Al-Ghad journalists. Also, the very first name on the statement is that of Ayman Al-Safadi. Mr. Al-Safadi has been continuously calling for Jill’s release, appearing on both Arabic and American TV channels to appeal to her captors. Al-Safadi first hired Jill to work in Jordan, thus facilitating her arrival in the Middle East. Kudos to him for his efforts to secure Jill’s freedom.