New York, March 27, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists is greatly concerned about the safety of Khadija Abdul Qahaar, publisher of the Web site Jihad Unspun, who has been held by kidnappers in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas for more than four months.
Qahaar, a Canadian who changed her name from Beverly Giesbrecht when she converted to Islam in 2002, disappeared
on November 11, 2008, while traveling in the Bannu district, along the border
At least three videos have been released by her kidnappers, the most recent of which was sent
to the press club in the nearby city of
"We're gravely concerned about Khadija Abdul Qahaar's safety, particularly
because she is an independent journalist who lacks the support of a large media
organization," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's
The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs is "continuing to pursue all appropriate channels" to obtain the journalist's release, spokeswoman Lisa Monette said today. She declined further comment, saying the department did not want to compromise those efforts.
Qahaar's Web site, Jihad Unspun, says
it was launched to provide independent news coverage of the fighting in