Turkish journalist detained in Syria released

Turkish journalist detained in Syria released

Cuneyt Unal, who was detained by government forces on August 20, was released on Saturday, but his colleague Bashar Fahmi Al-Kadumi's whereabouts remain unknown
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A YouTube image grab of Ceynat Unal's TV appearance in August.


A Turkish journalist who had been held by Syrian government forces since August was released on Saturday and presented to Turkish opposition officials following a meeting with President Bashar Al-Assad.

Cuneyt Unal, who was working as a camerman for the Al-Hurra network, was initially captured in Aleppo on August 20 with his colleague, Palestinian-Jordanian reporter Bashar Fahmi Al-Kadumi, who is still missing.

On Saturday, Unal was presented to a delegation of MP’s from the main opposition party in Turkey, CHP, after their meeting with Al-Assad, according to the Anatolia News Agency,

“I am very happy, I am doing well,” he told a press conference in Damascus, adding “I can’t wait to get back to my family in Turkey.”

Cunal appeared on television at the end of August when he made an apparent confession, which was refuted by Turkish Foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.

On Saturday he explained that he had been kept in solitary confinement in a prison in Aleppo, but said that he had not been mistreated by his captors.  He said that he had not seen his colleague, Al-Kadumi, who was seriously wounded on the day of their capture after being caught in crossfire between government and rebel forces.

“I havent seen him since,” he said, noting “I don’t know if he is still alive.”

The lawmakers confirmed that they had been given no news about Al-Kadumi.

A number of journalists are currently missing in Syria as both regime and rebel forces have been involved in kidnapping members of the media.  Last week, the parents of US photojournalist, Austin Tice, made an appeal for information regarding their son, who has also been missing for three months.

Doha Centre for Media Freedom has repeatedly condemned the ongoing targeting of journalists in Syria.  The centre welcomes Unal's release, but called for information about Al-Kadumi's health and demanded his immediate release, along with all other media workers who are currently being held in detention.


Source: DCMF, AFP

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