The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have welcomed the release of Spanish journalist Marc Marginedas who had been held for six months in Syria by a jihadist group.
According to media reports, Marginedas, a highly respected journalist who has covered many conflicts across the world, crossed the border between Syria and Turkey last Sunday morning, 2 February, after being freed by the Islamic group.
"We welcome the fantastic news that Marc Marginedas has been released and can now return to his family, loved ones and colleagues," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha."
"On this day of great relief and joy we offer our thanks to our Spanish affiliates, the Federation of Journalists Unions (FeSP), the Spanish Press Federations of Journalists Associations (FAPE) and Periodistas de CCOO (FSC-CCOO), as well as his newspaper, El Periódico de Catalunya, all of whom never forgot their colleague and organised continued public gatherings and demonstrations calling for his release."
While welcoming the release of Marginedas, the IFJ/EFJ have issued a stark reminder that many other local and international journalists are still being held captive in Syria. Among those being held are two Spanish journalists, photographer Ricardo García Vilanova and veteran journalist Javier Espinosa, who were kidnapped on 16 September last year.
"We can be celebrate the news that Marc Marginedas has been released, said EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, "but we reiterate our call for all sides involved in the war in Syria to cease the targeting of journalists, to respect media freedom and to immediately release the dozens of journalists of different nationalities and still currently under detention."
Today, Tuesday 4th March, IFJ' Spanish affiliate, FAPE, is organising a round table discussion in Madrid to support the activities of a committee made up of journalist organisations working for the release of journalists kidnapped in Syria.
For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries