BBG calls for immediate release of Alhurra journalists after "deeply disturbing" video on Syrian television.

Posted: 28 Aug 2012

VOA News, 27 Aug 2012: "A Turkish cameraman who went missing while in northern Syria a week ago has appeared in a video aired on a pro-government Syrian news channel. In the video shown on al-Ikhbariya Monday, Cuneyt Unal talks about how he traveled into Syria and what he experienced. It is not clear when or under what conditions the interview took place. Unal was on assignment for the U.S.-funded Alhurra television channel. Alhurra's parent organization, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, also oversees the Voice of America. The video clip starts with a still photograph of Unal holding a rocket launcher. It then shows a tired-looking Unal, with what appears to be bruises under his eyes, speaking to a person who is off-camera and holding a microphone. ... In the video, Unal does not mention the whereabouts of his Alhurra colleague, Bashar Fahmi, who also remains missing."

The Herald (Glasgow), 28 Aug 2012: "In the video, which was broadcast by Turkish media yesterday, Cuneyt Unal appears to be in good health although he looks exhausted and nervous, with dark marks under both eyes, apparently bruising. Unal, who works for the US-funded al-Hurra television channel, describes his journey from the Turkish border to Aleppo with rebels who are fighting troops loyal to President Bashar Assad."

Broadcasting Board of Governors press release, 27 Aug 2012: "'This video is deeply disturbing and underscores the perilous situation for these journalists,' said Michael Meehan, a member of the BBG board and Chairman of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN). 'They entered Syria only to report the news. We call for their immediate release, and we urge the Syrian government to take action to ensure their safety.'"

Committee to Protect Journalists, 27 Aug 2012: "'We hold Syrian authorities responsible for the safety and well-being of Cüneyt Ünal and Bashar Fahmi,' said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. 'We call on authorities to immediately secure the release of Ünal and Fahmi and ensure that members of the media are not used as pawns during a conflict.'"

Turkish Press, 28 Aug 2012: "In a statement released Monday, the Turkish Association of News Cameraman said that they strongly condemned Syria for preventing Cuneyt Unal from doing his job, for showing Unal as a confessor, and portraying Unal as a side and actor in the war. 'We condemn the video footage related to cameraman Cuneyt Unal. Unal has been a cameraman for the past 17 years and he has been our member for the past 15 years. The best response to the Syrian TV channel’s arguments that Unal was a spy is the award Unal received last year for the best news footage of the year. Unal was in Syria for reporting purposes and he has worked for many respectable organizations, including CNN Turk and TRT Turk.'"

See also AP, 27 Aug 2012. See previous post about same subject.

Copyright 2006–2018 Kim Andrew Elliott.