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Middle East & Arab World

IFJ/EFJ Appeal for Release of French Journalists Missing In Syria

10 October 2013

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have appealed for the safe return of French journalists Nicolas Henin and Peter Torres who have been missing in Syria for nearly four months, according to information released today.

Reporter Henin, who was working for Le Point and Arte, and photographer Torres, who was preparing to cover the elections in the city of Raqqa, were abducted in Syria on June 22. The French government today has confirmed their abduction and advised they are doing "everything possible" to secure their release.

"We call for the immediate release of the journalists Nicolas Henin and Peter Torres and ask whoever is holding them to return them to their colleagues and families," said IFJ Pesident Jim Boumelha. "These men are journalists, free to report on the Syrian conflict without fear of intimidation or violence, and they cannot be harmed or treated as enemies."

In total, there are now officially four French journalists who are being held hostage in Syria. Didier François and Edward Elias, who both work for Europe 1, were kidnapped on June 6 in the Aleppo region. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs has confirmed they are alive.

In September Italian reporter Domenico Quirico was freed after five months in captivity in the country, but a number of other journalists are still missing. On 26 September the IFJ called on the Syrian Free Army to secure the release of Spanish journalist Marc Maginedas who is believed to have been kidnapped by Jihadist fighters, while Polish photographer Marcin Suder and a number of Syrian television journalists are still being held. American journalists Austin Tice and James Foley have also been missing for over a year and ten months, respectively.

"It is clear that Syria is an extremely dangerous country for journalists to work in," said EFJ President Mogens Blicher-Bjerregård. "We urge journalists working there to remain vigilant at all times and we call on all sides involved in the war in Syria to cease the targeting of journalists, to respect media freedom, and to immediately release all journalists currently under detention."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries