There has been an epidemic of journalist kidnappings in Syria. At least 30 journalists are currently being held, including two reporters that a Spanish newspaper just confirmed this week.
Today, 13 major global media outlets — including National Journal‘s parent company, Atlantic Media — are asking the Syrian opposition to stop letting it happen.
“The international news organizations signing this letter are committed to providing the world with fair and in-depth coverage of the war, the activities of rebel-aligned forces, and the suffering of civilians within Syria,” the news organizations say in a letter to the opposition. “Those stories can only be told if journalists have the ability to travel within Syria without fear that they will be victims of kidnappings by criminal gangs or groups associated with the rebels.”
The Syrian conflict has been brutal on journalists. On top of the kidnappings, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found that at least 52 reporters have been killed in Syria since the civil war began in 2011. Paris’s Reporters Without Borders has a higher estimate, based on a broader definition of “journalist”: On top of the more than 60 news providers who’ve been kidnapped in Syria, it believes that more than 110 have been killed since 2011.
Here’s the full letter from the media companies: