IFJ/EFJ Welcome Release of Italian Journalist Domenico Quirico

The International

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.


To watch

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