Journalists Under Attack in Syria

Journalists Under Attack in SyriaJournalists Under Attack in Syria

Three Spanish freelance journalists have gone missing in Syria where they were reporting from the northwestern Aleppo region, while worries are growing about the whereabouts of a freelance Japanese journalist, last heard from one month ago in the war-torn country.

Jose Manuel Lopez, Antonio Pampliega and Angel Sastre entered Syria on July 10 “and there has been no news of them since July 12”, Elsa Gonzalez, president of the Federation of Press Associations of Spain, told national television, AFP reported.

“In that region there is intense fighting going on, so there is cause for concern. For the moment, we can only call it a disappearance.”

Three other Spanish journalists were kidnapped in Syria in 2013.

El Mundo correspondent Javier Espinosa and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova were held by the Islamic State militants for six months and freed in March 2014.

Earlier that same month, another Spanish journalist, Marc Marginedas, a correspondent for the Catalan daily El Periodico, was also released after six months in captivity in Syria.

The fate of the Japanese correspondent, Jumpei Yasuda, reporting on the Middle East since 2002, is also in limbo. Media say he may not have access to communications or could be taken captive.

Yasuda was taken hostage in Iraq in 2004, with three other Japanese, but was freed after clerics negotiated his release.

Kosuke Tsuneoka, another freelance reporter, said on Wednesday he received a message from Yasuda in Syria on June 23, but has not heard from him since.