Reporters Without Borders has learned that at least three citizen-journalists were among the approximately 50 detainees that the Jihadi group called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) massacred on 6 January before withdrawing from the Qadi Asqar district of Aleppo.
The three known citizen-journalists killed in the massacre were Maher Hasroumi, Amin Abu Ahmad and Sultan Al-Shami. Employed by Shada al Hurriya TV, they and two other colleagues, Abu Younes and Taim Shami were abducted when ISIS attacked the TV station on 26 December.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the massacre with the utmost energy and is appalled by the way ISIS executed its own detainees as it withdrew in the face of an offensive launched against it by other rebel groups. Other detainees were freed.
The massacre was confirmed by the citizen-journalist Milad Al-Shibahi, a newly-freed ISIS detainee, in a video posted on YouTube on 7 January. In the video, Shibahi describes the appalling conditions in which ISIS held its hostages.
Officials announce release of two Swedish journalists
Magnus Falkehed and Niclas Hammarström, two Swedish journalists who were kidnapped near the Lebanese border in Syria on 23 November, have been released, the Swedish government said today.
“We are very relieved to learn that these two journalists have been released safe and sound,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We nonetheless continue to be concerned about the 16 other foreign journalists (four of them French) and the more than 30 Syrian citizen journalists who are still held in Syria.”
Normally based in Paris, Falkehed works for many Swedish publications including the daily Dagens Nyheter and the magazine Sydsvenskan. Hammarström is a freelance photographer.
According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, they are currently in Lebanon. No details about their abduction or release have so far been made public.
An offensive by the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups against ISIS, a Jihadi group linked to Al-Qaeda, has resulted in the recent release of other news providers, including Turkish photographer Bünyamin Aygün and Syrian citizen-journalists Ahmed Bremo and Milad Al-Shibahi.