IFJ/EFJ Appeal for Safe Return of Italian Journalist Missing in Syria

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ), and its European group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have today appealed for the safe return of an Italian journalist missing

in Syria.


Domenico Quirico, 62, an experienced war

correspondent for Turin’s la Stampa newspaper, has not been heard from for 20

days. According to La Stampa’s editor-in-chief, Mario Calabresi, the reporter entered Syria from Lebanon on

April 6 to report on the country’s civil war and has not been in contact since

April 9.


“On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, we

appeal for the safe return of journalist Domenico Quirico and we stand in

solidarity with his family and colleagues,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.


“Mr Quirico is a journalist, free to

report on the the Syrian conflict without fear of intimidation or violence. He

cannot be harmed or treated as an enemy. If he has been stopped or held by any

armed group or faction we appeal for his immediate release.”


La Stampa said they decided to publicise Mr

Quirico's disappearance after a search for the correspondent failed to turn up

any leads. Mr Calabresi said the journalist, who has reported on conflicts in

Sudan, Uganda and Libya, would often disappear for a few days at a time, but

not for this long. The Italian foreign ministry has activated its crisis unit

to try to trace him.


The National

Federation of the Italian Press (FNSI) has called on whoever is holding Mr

Quirico to free him.


“Whoever has

prevented Domenico Quirico from communicating with his newspaper and his family

for the last 20 days should know that he has nothing to do with an enemy or

warring faction,” said Franco Siddi, Secretary-General of the NFIP.   


“Whoever stopped

him in Syria, where he was doing his job as special envoy for his newspaper, La

Stampa, please listen to our appeal and give our colleague his freedom.


“He is an

experienced journalist, a true witness of the events of war such as the Arab

Spring, the ethnic conflicts in Africa and the Middle East issue, appreciated

and respected like few others. If any armed group or some faction suspiciously

stopped him, know that he cannot be a treated as a target.”


In Turin tomorrow, May 1, the regional association

of the FNSI, plans to carry out a demonstration on the streets where they will

wear a yellow strip on their arms to make people aware that Mr Quirico is



For more information, please contact IFJ on + 221 33 867 95 86/87
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries