Photo of Cameraman Surfaces: BBG Renews its Call for the Release of Bashar Fahmi and Cüneyt Ünal

Cuneyt Unal

Photograph of Cuneyt Unal

With the surfacing of a recent photo of cameraman Cüneyt Ünal, who disappeared in Syria two months ago while working for Alhurra TV, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) today renewed its call for the immediate release of Ünal and Alhurra correspondent Bashar Fahmi.

The Turkish humanitarian organization IHH obtained the photo, dated Oct. 24, and posted it online on Saturday.

Ünal appeared briefly on Syrian television on Aug. 26 looking exhausted and with bruises under his eyes. There has been no information regarding Fahmi since both journalists were reportedly captured by Syrian forces in Aleppo on Aug. 20, according to a YouTube video released by the Syrian Free Army that day.

“We continue to demand the immediate release of Ünal and Fahmi,” said Richard M. Lobo, Director of the BBG’s International Broadcasting Bureau. “They were in Syria to report on the news strictly in a journalistic capacity.”

Fahmi and Ünal are not the only journalists that have disappeared recently in Syria. American freelance reporter Austin Tice was last heard from in mid-August outside of Damascus. According to news reports, Anhar Kochneva, a freelance Ukrainian journalist, disappeared from Homs on Oct. 9. The Committee to Protect Journalists has called Syria the world’s most dangerous assignment for journalists.

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