Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 September 2016, 14:58 GMT

Two More Foreign Reporters Missing, War's Collateral Victims

Publisher Reporters Without Borders
Publication Date 2 May 2013
Cite as Reporters Without Borders, Two More Foreign Reporters Missing, War's Collateral Victims, 2 May 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5187bdad4.html [accessed 28 September 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Reporters Without Borders is deeply concerned to learn that Domenico Quirico (photo), an Italian journalist working for the Turin-based daily La Stampa, has been missing in Syria for the past three weeks.

The Brussels evening newspaper Le Soir has also revealed that Pierre Piccinin de Prata, a Belgian academic and political scientist who was reporting for the paper, has also disappeared in Syria.

Reporters Without Borders is outraged by what is happening to professional news providers in Syria. As well as being victims of the chaos and ubiquitous violence, journalists are also being deliberately targeted by the various parties to the conflict. The abduction of foreign reporters has become commonplace.

Quirico has been missing since 9 April, when he told a colleague he was on the road to Homs. There has been no word from him since then. An experienced international reporter, he has covered conflicts in the past including in Sudan, Libya and, recently, Mali. He entered Syria from Lebanon to do a series of reports from the Homs region.

In agreement with his family, La Stampa announced his disappearance on 29 April.

Piccinin's disappearance was reported on 24 April by Le Soir, which had published several of his stories. The exact circumstances in which he went missing are not known. He had visited Syria several times in the past.

"We call for the immediate release of Quirico and Piccinin and we urge those holding them to respect international law, under which journalists must not be targeted by the various parties to a conflict," Reporters Without Borders said.

"It is high time that the Syrian government stopped displaying complete contempt for its international obligations. All branches of the opposition must also realize that they have responsibilities and must stop attacking media personnel."

Three other foreign journalists - Austin Tice, James Folley and Bashar Fahmi Al-Kadumi - are still missing or are still being held by abductors.

With 23 journalists killed and 22 imprisoned, and with 55 citizen-journalists killed and 18 imprisoned, Syria is the world's most dangerous country for news providers. It ranks 176th out of 179 countries in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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