Afrah Shawqi al-Qaisi, an Iraqi journalist, was kidnapped from her home in Baghdad by gunmen who arrived in three pickup trucks.
The gunmen arrived around 10 p.m. on Monday dressed in civilian clothes, according to CNN.
Al-Qaisi’s sister, Nibras al-Qaisi, said her sister was home with her two sons when the gunmen stormed in. The journalist’s brother-in-law was beaten by the attackers in the process.
“Please release her for the sake of her children,” Nibras al-Qaisi said. “I don’t know what to do, I am so scared.”
Officials said the gunmen claimed to be security personnel, BBC News noted.
Along with kidnapping al-Qaisi, the attackers also stole cash, gold and a car.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered security agencies to investigate the kidnapping.
“Make utmost efforts in order to save her life and to preserve her safety,” said a statement released by al-Abadi’s office, per CNN.
As a journalist, al-Qaisi has spoken out against widespread corruption in Iraq, BBC News noted.
On Monday, she wrote an article expressing “anger that armed groups could act with impunity.”
The article criticized a ministry officer who had assaulted the principal of a Nasiriya school.
The article was published by the Aklaam website.
“There is nothing worse in a country than humiliating a teacher, nothing is worse than neglect by those who carry weapons,” al-Qaisi wrote, per BBC News. “If the state is anxious to preserve its prestige, it should hold accountable whoever uses weapons illicitly.”
Al-Qaisi, 43, writes for the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat along with several local news websites.
Reporters Without Borders has said “Iraq is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists.”
Seven of the country’s journalists were killed in 2016.
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