The Broadcasting Board of Governors Thursday again pressed
the Syrian government on the whereabouts of a pair of missing journalists.
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
"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."