The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Wife Appeals for Release of Journalist Kidnapped in Syria


Thirteen international news organizations, including the BBC, The Associated Press and The New York Times, have written a letter to the armed opposition in Syria asking for assurances that their journalists will not be abducted, as my colleague Ravi Somaiya reported.

The letter came as the wife of one of two Spanish journalists who were kidnapped by Islamic extremists in September while working in Syria made a public appeal on Monday, asking their captors to let them go after secret efforts to win their release were unsuccessful.

My colleague Anne Barnard reported that Monica G. Prieto pleaded for the release of her husband, Javier Espinosa, a correspondent for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, and Ricardo García Vilanova, a photographer who was abducted alongside him.

Ms. Prieto also announced the start of the Free Javier and Ricardo Campaign, which includes a collection of online footage showing Mr. Espinosa at work, reporting in the Middle East and North Africa.

In her appeal for the release of the two men, Ms. Prieto emphasized the risk they have taken to cover the conflict in Syria and tell the stories of the people in Syria. “Javier and Ricardo are not your enemy,” said Ms. Prieto, who wore a head scarf, apparently to make her speech more likely to be viewed by Islamist jihadists. “Please, honor the revolution they protected, and set them free.”

The online collection shows the depth of the work the two men have done in Syria, including footage of wounded children and civilians fleeing an air attack.