Syria - Spanish reporter missing, kidnapped three weeks ago near Hama

Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about Marc Marginedas, a Spanish journalist who was kidnapped by Jihadi fighters near the west-central city of Hama on 4 September, his newspaper, the Barcelona-based El Periódico, revealed today.

There has been no news of Marginedas since then and no group has claimed responsibility for his abduction, the newspaper said. Reporters Without Borders calls for his immediate release.

According to El Periódico, Marginedas entered Syria on 1 September across the land border near the Turkish city of Reyhanli, accompanied by members of the Free Syrian Army, and was with his driver near Hama when Jihadis intercepted him three days later

An experienced foreign reporter, Marginedas was visiting Syria for the third time. He had intended to cover preparations for a response to a possible western military intervention in Syria, and to investigate the use of chemical weapons against civilians in a Damascus suburb on 21 August.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the increase in difficulties for news providers in recent months, which has included an increase in abductions of both Syrian and foreign journalists.

A Jihadi forum recently urged fighters to “kidnap all journalists,” especially foreign ones, on suspicion of being spies. A total of 16 foreign journalists and more than 60 Syrian journalists and citizen-journalists are currently detained, abducted or missing in Syria.