Unprecedented response to kidnappings in Syria

By Jason Stern/CPJ Middle East and North Africa Research Associate on December 11, 2013 9:01 AM ET

In an unprecedented step, more than a dozen international news organizations have signed a joint letter to the Syrian armed opposition about the "disturbing rise in the kidnapping of journalists" in Syria, which has led many outlets to reduce their coverage of the conflict out of safety concerns. The organizations urge the Syrian armed opposition leadership "to assist in identifying those groups currently holding journalists and take the steps necessary to bring about their release."

This step comes in response to an unprecedented danger, with approximately 30 journalists currently missing in Syria. Even the Iraq War, the deadliest conflict for journalists since CPJ's founding, did not reach such chilling numbers. And yet the numbers continue to grow, with at least seven abductions in the past two months.

On December 14, the Supreme Military Council, which commands the Free Syrian Army, issued a response to the letter.

Click here to read the full letter in English and Arabic.

Click here to read the response in English and Arabic.


UPDATE: This blog has been updated to reflect that additional organizations have joined the original 13 signatories and to include a response from the Supreme Military Council.


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