Letter to the Syrian Opposition: Stop Standing by as Journalists Get Kidnapped

Masked female rebel fighters run past a journalist in the war-wracked Salaheddin district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on October 4, 2013. 
National Journal
Matt Berman
Dec. 11, 2013, 4 a.m.

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:

Syr­ia Let­ter

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