updated 2/21/2006 6:20:50 PM ET 2006-02-21T23:20:50

The family of American journalist Jill Carroll issued another public appeal for her release Tuesday, a week before a deadline set by her Iraqi kidnappers for their demands to be met or they will kill her.

“She and thousands of other journalists try to bring truth to the world every day, and it is especially important in Iraq right now,” Carroll’s father, Jim, said in a one-minute audio message released by the media group Reporters Without Borders.

The message, accompanied by an appeal from Jill Carroll’s sister, Katie, also asks for the release of two Iraqi journalists who were abducted earlier this month.

Jill Carroll was reporting from Iraq for the Christian Science Monitor when she was kidnapped Jan. 7. A group calling itself the Revenge Brigades has demanded the release of all Iraqi women held in U.S. military and Iraqi jails.

Broadcast ads
The appeals are the latest asking for Carroll’s release. Last week, Iraq’s state television started broadcasting ads including footage of her mother and a major Sunni Arab politician describing the 28-year-old freelancer as a friend of Iraq. Reporters Without Borders is also planning a weeklong campaign for the release of Carroll and Rim Zeid and Marwan Khazaal, who work for the Iraqi TV station Al-Sumariya.

Carroll’s kidnappers set the Feb. 26 deadline earlier this month, according to the owner of a Kuwaiti TV station that aired the latest videotape of her on Feb. 10. In that tape, she appealed for her supporters to do whatever it takes to win her release “as quickly as possible.”

Two previous tapes showing Carroll were aired by Al-Jazeera TV on Jan. 17 and 30. The first included a threat to kill Carroll within 72 hours unless all Iraqi women were released from custody.

Carroll grew up in Michigan and worked as a reporting assistant for The Wall Street Journal before moving to Jordan and launching her freelance career in 2002, learning Arabic along the way.

“I’m proud of her and I hope that young journalists around the world are inspired by her passion,” Carroll’s sister said in her audio message.

Thirty-seven journalists and media assistants have been kidnapped in Iraq since fighting began there in March 2003, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Jordanian Embassy driver released
Meanwhile, a kidnapped Jordanian Embassy driver has been released in Baghdad, Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit said Tuesday.

The driver, Mahmoud Suleiman Saidat, was abducted Dec. 20 near his home in Baghdad.

Al-Bakhit told the Petra news agency that Saidat “was released after thorough efforts over the past two months, and he is in a safe place.”

Saidat had worked at the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad for four years.

He was kidnapped by a little-known group that demanded that Jordan cut ties with the Iraqi government and release the female would-be suicide bomber whose explosives belt failed to detonate in November attacks that killed 63 people at three Western-based hotels in Amman. Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attacks.

A videotape of Saidat aired in December showed him claiming that his captors had set a four-day deadline to execute him unless their demands were met.

Jordan said it would not give in to the kidnappers’ demands.

More than 250 foreigners have been taken hostage in Iraq, either by insurgents or gangs, since the U.S.-led invasion. At least 39 have been killed.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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