Kidnapped Spanish Journalists Freed in Syria

Kidnapped Spanish Journalists Freed in SyriaKidnapped Spanish Journalists Freed in Syria

Antonio Pampliega, Jose Manuel Lopez and Angel Sastre have been freed and will fly back home after 10 months in captivity. The three journalists went missing while working in the northern city of Aleppo.

“All three have been released ... and are on their way (to Spain),” said Elsa Gonzalez, the president of the Spanish Press Federation.

The Spanish government also confirmed the journalists’ release, adding that acting deputy premier, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, had made contact and spoken with the trio. A spokeswoman said: “All three are well,” AFP reported

The three entered Syrian from Turkey on July 10 and went missing shortly afterwards. Few details have since emerged about their situation.

They were last seen in July 2015 in Aleppo where they had been reporting on the conflict. Several other journalists have gone missing from the same area.

Pampliega, 33, has contributed to AFP coverage of the civil wars in Syria and Iraq. 45-year-old Lopez is a prize-winning photographer who filed images for AFP from several war zones, including Syria. Sastre, 35, had also worked in trouble spots around the world for Spanish television, radio and press.

El Pais newspaper reported that the men were now in Turkey and waiting to be brought back to Spain by authorities.

Media rights group Reporters Without Borders ranks Syria as the most dangerous country for journalists.

In August 2014, the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group decapitated US journalist James Foley, who was seized in northern Syria two years earlier. In 2013, three other Spanish journalists were seized by IS, but were all released.


Angel Sastre (L), Antonio Pampliega (C) and Jose Manuel Lopez were journalists reporting on the war in Syria.