CPJ calls on FARC to release French journalist

New York, May 1, 2012–The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) must immediately and unconditionally release French journalist Roméo Langlois, who was captured Saturday during a confrontation with Colombian armed forces, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. An alleged FARC member has reportedly told Colombian journalists that the leftist rebel group is holding Langlois as a prisoner of war.

“FARC must immediately release Langlois and return him to safety,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “Under international law, journalists must be treated as non-combatants by all parties in an armed conflict.”

Langlois, a Colombia-based correspondent for the international TV network France 24 and a contributor to the Paris daily Le Figaro, disappeared on Saturday after being injured during a firefight between Colombian troops and FARC rebels. Langlois had joined the troops to cover an anti-drug raid in the south of the country. In the past four months, three journalists have fled their homes after being threatened by alleged members of FARC and criminal groups.