Among the journalists known to have been abducted in Syria during the past year (some have since been released):

  • Ukrainian TV journalist Anhar Kochneva, taken by rebel forces last October near Homs

  • German reporter Billy Six, kidnapped in Hamas by the Syrian military while reporting on a civilian massacre there; NBC reporter Richard Engel, along with his five team members and two Syrians; and American freelancer Matthew Schrier, on his first trip to a war zone, all last December

  • American James Foley, abducted by gunmen last November

  • Italian Domenico Quirico and Belgian Pierre Piccinin da Prata, abducted in Homs, and Jonathan Alpeyrie, a French-American kidnapped outside Damascus, all in April

German freelancer Armin Wertz, taken by police in Aleppo in May

French radio journalists Didier Francois and Edouard Elias, and Syrian Aboud Haddad, all in June

Polish photographer Marcin Suder, kidnapped from a media center in Idlib province, and Syrian TV journalists Obeida Batal, Hossam Nizam al Dine and Aboud al Atik, captured by a group of anonymous gunmen, all in July


The Committee to Protect Journalists lists the following Syrians as known to have been imprisoned (and still presumed so) in Syria:

Tal al-Mallohi, who was arrested in December 2009 on a fabricated charge of disclosing state secrets

Tariq Saeed Balsha, imprisoned in 2011 after covering an episode in which the army opened fire on civilians at the al-Raml Palestinian refugee camp

Ahmed Bilal, arrested in Damascus in 2011

Five reporters for the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (Mazen Darwish, Hussein Ghrer, Hani al-Zitani, Mansour al-Omari and Abd al-Rahman Hamada), arrested in February 2012 after documenting the deaths and detentions of journalists in the country

Jihad Jamal, detained in March 2012 along with several human rights activists

Ali Mahmoud Othman, a former vegetable vendor who ran the makeshift media center in the besieged Baba Amr district of Homs where journalists Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik were killed and several other journalists injured in a government attack, and who helped the journalists who survived the attack to escape

Malik Abu al-Khair, arrested in August 2012

Fares Maamou, arrested in Homs in October 2012 after posting thousands of videos documenting the civil war – footage that was used by international news organizations such as Al-Jazeera and the BBC

Akram Raslan, arrested in October 2012

Shada al-Madad, arrested in November 2012 after resigning from a pro-government news website where she had worked as a reporter, after which she went to work for anti-government sites