Turkish journalist missing for months in Syria freed

Updated 18 November 2012
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Turkish journalist missing for months in Syria freed

ANKARA: A Turkish journalist held by Syrian government troops since August was freed yesterday and handed to a group of Turkish opposition lawmakers following their meeting with President Bashar Assad, media reported.
“I am very happy, I am doing well,” Cuneyt Unal told a press conference in Damascus, a recording of which was aired on Turkish television. “I can’t wait to get back to my family in Turkey.”
Unal was handed to a delegation of MPs from Turkey’s main opposition party CHP in Damascus after the lawmakers met with Assad, the Anatolia news agency reported.
One of them, Hasan Akgol, told the agency that Unal was in good health and that the group was due to return to Turkey later in the day.
Cameraman Unal and his Jordanian colleague Bashar Fahmi Al-Kadumi, who were working for US broadcaster Al-Hurra, disappeared in the northern city of Aleppo on Aug. 20.
Unal said yesterday that he had been detained by Syrian soldiers on that day and held in solitary confinement in an Aleppo prison but that he was not mistreated during his ordeal.


Douma safe for press visits, not safe for UN chemical inspectors

Updated 5 min 35 sec ago
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Douma safe for press visits, not safe for UN chemical inspectors

LONDON: Journalists working in Syria’s capital Damascus were treated to an organized visit to the opposition enclave of Douma.
Members of the press toured and photographed deserted areas of Douma which has been held by opposition groups for the last seven years. The government invited international news agencies to tour the devastated neighborhood of Damascus that witnessed the birth of the revolution against Assad’s rule in 2011.
Chemical weapons inspectors meanwhile are still awaiting the green light to access areas where chemical attacks were carried out on the 7th April, and which led to the evacuation of fighters and their families to the north of the country as part of a deal to evacuate the enclave.