French media search new security plan for Iraq

18th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 17 (AFP) - The editors in chief of around 40 French media organisations held talks with Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Friday about possible precautions to be taken for media workers in Iraq, after several high-profile kidnapping cases in the war-torn country.

PARIS, June 17 (AFP) - The editors in chief of around 40 French media organisations held talks with Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Friday about possible precautions to be taken for media workers in Iraq, after several high-profile kidnapping cases in the war-torn country.

Pierre Taillefer, news director of Agence France-Presse, said the talks notably focused on the possibility of joint arrangements to protect the staff of French media operations in Iraq.

He said Villepin had told the assembled editors that "The vulnerability of French journalists in Iraq is at a high point."

The meeting came just a week after the release in Baghdad of a French journalist and her guide, who had been held hostage for over five months.

Two other French journalists were abducted in August last year, and only freed in December.

Taillefer said one possibility that the media chiefs considered in their talks with the government was setting up a "journalists' house" in Baghdad.

However grouping journalists together also increased the risk of the mall being attacked at the same time.

Since the US-led invasion in 2003, dozens of journalists have been killed, injured or abducted in Iraq, most of them Iraqis.

According to the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists, 23 journalists, 17 of them Iraqis, were killed in Iraq, along with 16 Iraqi media workers, in 2004 alone.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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