Pregnant woman kidnapped in Cairo, husband says

Mona al-Gharib, wife of a Syrian TV anchor in Egypt, was kidnapped in Cairo on Friday.

Story highlights

  • The woman is the wife of a Syrian TV anchor in Egypt
  • Her husband accuses Syrian intelligence of carrying out the alleged kidnapping
  • Police are investigating the origins of text messages allegedly from the kidnappers
The 25-year-old pregnant wife of a Syrian TV anchor in Egypt was kidnapped in Cairo on Friday, her husband said.
Thaer al-Nashef, who describes himself as a "political activist against the Syrian regime," said he believes the alleged kidnapping is the work of Syrian intelligence operating in the country.
There was no immediate response to the allegations from the Syrian government.
Egyptian police confirmed that al-Nashef filed a police report about his wife's disappearance.
Al-Nashef said he was alerted to the alleged kidnapping by a text message.
"We have kidnapped your wife, you dirty dog, so you don't insult your master again," al-Nashef quoted the text as saying.
Al-Nashef said he received further text messages from the alleged kidnappers, including one that threatened that his wife would be raped, and another saying his wife would be killed if he went to the media with the story.
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Mustapha Khalil, the officer who took al-Nashef's report, said police will be contacting his mobile phone provider to investigate the origins of the text messages. Al-Nashef said the messages came from an Egyptian number.
Al-Nashef is a freelance journalist in Egypt and serves as a TV anchor for several networks, including January 25 TV, which was launched after the revolution to topple Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
His wife, Mona al-Gharib, is an Egyptian citizen and a student at Azhar University, he said. She is six months pregnant with their second child, according to al-Nashef.
Protesters gathered outside offices of the Arab League after news of the alleged kidnapping broke. They later moved to the Syrian Embassy.
The Syrian government has been accused of seeking retribution against relatives of Syrian activists working against the Bashar al-Assad regime from abroad.
The U.S. State Department announced this summer that it had received reports that Syrian mission personnel had been conducting video surveillance of people participating in peaceful demonstrations in the United States. Other Syrian activists living abroad have also declined to be named or appear on camera for fear of reprisals against their families at home.
And in August, a rebel military leader living in exile in Turkey disappeared from a refugee camp and reappeared days later in Syrian government custody. Evidence also suggested that the government carried out reprisal attacks against the man's family.