Reporters Without Borders

Renewed concern about abductions and disappearances

Renewed concern about abductions and disappearances

Published on Thursday 17 October 2013.
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Reporters Without Borders is worried about three employees of Abu Dhabi-based Sky News Arabia – Mauritanian reporter Ishak Mokhtar, Lebanese cameraman Samir Kassab and a Syrian driver – who went missing two days ago near Aleppo in still unclear circumstances.

Mokhtar and Kassab went to Syria to do a report on humanitarian aspects of the Syrian crisis. The station lost contact with them on the morning of 15 October as they were returning from Anadan (10 km northwest of Aleppo), where they had been filming Aid Al-Adha celebrations.

Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the recent renewed wave of abductions and calls on the various parties to the conflict in Syria to allow all news providers, local and foreign, to cover it.

The French prime minister revealed on 9 October that two French journalists – Nicolas Hénin, a freelance reporter for various media including Arte and Le Point, and Pierre Torres, a photographer who freelances for Agence France-Presse – were kidnapped by unidentified groups in mid-June.

Their disappearance had not previously been made public.

The number of foreign journalists who have been kidnapped in Syria since March 2011 is now 37, of whom 17 are still hostages, detained or missing. Syrian news providers are nonetheless the ones who have suffered most. More than 60 have been kidnapped or arrested by various armed opposition groups and more than 200 have been arrested by the regime.

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