Canadian Foreign Affairs Worker Threatened at Work

Death threats. Racist taunts. Vows of violence. Inside the increasingly personal attacks targeting Canadian female journalists who cover conflicts in the Middle East, a story of intimidation and threats has exposed a dangerous reality for women in the region.

The series of threats was first reported by local media in Iraq’s Diyala province, where Canadian Foreign Affairs worker Hanaa Eddin was recently threatened at work.

She was responding to the killing of a young child in Baghdad. In response, she reported the incident to the Canadian Embassy as a matter of urgency. The embassy issued a statement saying they had received the information.

Eddin says she went to work as usual on February 16, and received the same welcome as before. The following day, someone at the office came up to her and asked where she was from.

“I said I am Canadian, and then he said, ‘What are you doing here?’” Eddin says.

“I said I am just here to help in an emergency, a child has been killed, it is an urgent matter, and then he said, ‘Get out, go away from here, because there is going to be a demonstration.’ So I said, ‘OK,’ and I got in my car and drove out of the [embassy] compound… and then he stood up and started walking towards me.”

The man was wearing a police uniform, and there was a gun and handcuffs visible.

“I told him to stand down, but he wouldn’t stand down,” Eddin says. “He would only ask why I was there, and then I told him, ‘Look, I’m just trying to help,’ and I just told him, ‘I’m sorry, I am Canadian,’ and he kept saying he was Canadian until he ran away, handcuffed me, and threw me in the back of the SUV.”

Eddin says she was held hostage for about 15 hours before she was released.

She was taken to the local American embassy to report the incident, where she was told she would be given a “safe zone” to stay in for 15 days while she was safe at the embassy. She was later moved to another location, then kept on

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