The father of an American woman held hostage in Iraq has made an appeal for her release as a deadline set by her kidnappers is about to expire. Jim Carroll told the gunmen holding his daughter Jill that she has “no influence”, and that they should “use her skills as a journalist to support their cause”.The 28-year-old’s captors are threatening to kill her unless Iraqi women prisoners are released. Carroll was captured on January 7th just after leaving the office of a senior Sunni Arab politician. He has also called for her to be released. Some Iraqis are in two minds about her plight. “If the purpose behind the abduction was to free Iraqi female prisoners, it was a legitimate right for Iraqis. But if it was a terrorist act, we denounce that,” said one man . A woman added: “We condemn the process of abduction, it’s something that didn’t exist in our country before. We also call for the release of the female prisoners and if any of them are guilty they’ll be punished by law.” The Iraqi government has recommended US authorities release six of the eight Iraqi women in custody, but insist the move is not linked to the kidnapping of Carroll.