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News Organizations Protest Journalist Kidnappings In Syria In Letter

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SYRIA JOURNALISTS
This image made on a government-organized media tour for local journalists shows people returning to the western town of Nabek, which Syrian troops took full control of a day earlier after taking the nearby highway that links the capital, Damascus, with the central city of Homs, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. State media said that the capture of the town comes as the government forges ahead with a punishing offensive in a mountainous region near the border with Lebanon. (AP Photo) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Thirteen news organizations signed a joint letter on Wednesday to confront the kidnapping crisis occurring in Syria.

The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post and ten other international news outlets addressed the leadership of the armed opposition in Syria on the "disturbing rise in kidnapping of journalists," the Committee to Protect Journalists announced Wednesday morning. There have been at least 30 journalist kidnappings or disappearances in Syria, many of which have gone unreported, making it "even more difficult for the world to know what is taking place inside Syria," the news outlets wrote in the letter. It continued:

"As a result of these kidnappings, a growing number of news organizations no longer feel that it is safe for their reporters and photographers to enter Syria, and many have decided to limit their coverage of the war, unwilling to have their staff members subjected to the increasingly common risk of abduction."

On Tuesday, Spanish newspaper El Mundo announced that two of its journalists had been kidnapped while traveling inside Syria.

The letter asked for the release of those currently in holding and for greater protection of reporters who travel to the country:

"We believe it is imperative for the leadership of the armed opposition to commit itself to assuring that journalists can work within Syria, secure from the threat of kidnapping. Among other things, we ask the leadership to assist in identifying those groups currently holding journalists and take the steps necessary to bring about their release."

Click here to read the full letter.

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