Elizabeth Tsurkov, a doctoral student, has been missing in Iraq since March after being abducted in Baghdad while conducting research for Princeton University. She is being held by the Kata’ib Hezbollah or Hezbollah Brigades. The Committee is concerned about her condition and asks the Iraqi government to find and release her to the United States as soon as possible.
September 22, 2022
Nazar Al Khirullah
Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq
Embassy of the Republic of Iraq
1801 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 742-1600
Dear Ambassador Al Khirullah,
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We are writing in regard to Elizabeth Tsurkov, a doctoral student who has been missing in Iraq since March. She was abducted in Baghdad while conducting research for Princeton University. It appears she is being held by the Kata’ib Hezbollah or Hezbollah Brigades. Tsurkov’s family is deeply concerned about her health and wellbeing, as she was kidnapped only eight days after undergoing emergency spinal surgery.
The Committee urges the Iraqi government to continue its work in the investigation of Tsurkov’s kidnapping, opened in July, so that she can be found and returned home as soon as possible. We would also like to remind the government that, as a state party to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, Iraq is obligated to complete the investigation and return Tsurkov safely to the United States. Please forward our concerns to President Abdul Latif Rashid.
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter. We will be closely following developments in this case.
Ambassador Mohammed Hussein Bahr Al-Uloom
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations
14 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075
Phone: (212) 737-4433
Antony J. Blinken
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520 USA
Phone: (202) 647-4000