BBG Renews Call for Info on Missing Journalists
Alhurra reporter Bashar Fahmi and cameraman Cuneyt Unal missing since Aug. 20
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/5/2012 4:56:17 PM
Bashar Fahmi, a correspondent with the BBG-backed Alhurra news outlet and cameraman Cuneyt Unal have been missing since Aug. 20. The Syrian government released a statement Tuesday, Sept. 4, saying Fahmi was not under Syrian authority.
Unal, who is Turkish, was shown in a video Aug. 26 on a Syrian government channel claiming to be part of an international militant force. The Turkish ambassador has maintained Unal was forced to make the statement.
"We remain concerned about the lack of information as to the whereabouts and well-being of both journalists," said Michael Meehan, a member of the BBG board and chairman of Middle East Broadcasting Networks.
A Japanese reporter, Mika Yamamoto, was killed in the Northern Syrian city of Aleppo last week, according to various reports, including from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Fahmi and Unal were in the same city.
According to CPJ, at least 19 journalists have been killed covering the Syrian conflict since November, which CPJ says now makes it the most dangerous place in the world for journalists.
Also still missing in Syria is U.S. journalist Austin Tice. The AP reported Sept. 3 that the Syrian regime said if it were holding any foreign journalists, they would receive "special treatment even though they violated Syrian laws."
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