Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists
(EFJ) have today welcomed the release of Italian journalist Domenico
Quirico and thanked their affiliate, the National Federation of the Italian
Press (FNSI), for its tireless work and commitment in helping to secure his
Quirico, who was
kidnapped in Syria in early April, was released yesterday, Sunday 9 September,
along with Belgian teacher Pierre Piccinin da Pratia. The two men, who were
reportedly together when they were taken, were flown to Rome where they met
with Italy's foreign minister. According to reports, Quricio is tired but in
good health and will be reunited with his family later today.
"We welcome the
fantastic news that Domenici Quirico has been released after being held in
Syria for nearly five months 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 congratulate our affiliate, the FNSI, and thank them for their
dedication and unwavering commitment in helping to secure the safe return of
their highly respected colleague."
Quirico, 62, an
experienced war correspondent for Turin's La
Stampa newspaper, was kidnapped after he entered Syria from Lebanon at the
beginning of April to report on the country's civil war. He had spoken by phone
to his wife in June confirming he had been kidnapped but was in good health.
In a statement today,
FNSI General Secretary, Franco Siddi, said Quirico's liberation was "great news"
and a relief for his family and colleagues, calling it a triumph and "sign of
hope" for everyone who worked for his release.
Franco Siddi's interview on Sky click on this link: http://video.sky.it/news/mondo/siria_liberato_domenico_quirico_intervista_a_franco_siddi/v170507.vid
The IFJ and the EFJ,
along with the FNSI, have made repeated calls for Quirico's release over the
past five months. In May the IFJ and the FSNI wrote to the President of
Syria (24.5.13), appealing for him to make every effort to find
At its General
Meeting in May, the EFJ adopted a resolution, proposed by the FNSI, expressing
"its deep concern for the fate of Domenico Quirico," while in June the IFJ
World Congress adopted an urgent motion, proposed by FNSI and four other
affiliates, demanding the immediate release of Quirico and all other colleagues
covering the events in Syria.
"The release of
Domenico Quirico is a positive step forward in the struggle for press freedom, justice
and the right of journalists to work freely and safely in Syria," said EFJ
President Mogens Blicher-Bjerregård.
"But there are a
number of other cases of international journalists who are still being held
there. We urge all the factions involved in the Syrian conflict to respect press
freedom and to release the other journalists and return them to their
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134