No word on US journalist missing in Syria

2013-01-04 10:03
Syria is one the most dangerous places for journalists to work. (Michael Henninger, AP)

Syria is one the most dangerous places for journalists to work. (Michael Henninger, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rochester - The parents of a foreign journalist who has been missing in Syria since he was kidnapped more than a month ago have appealed to his captors for compassion and any information about their son's health and welfare.

James Foley, 39, was kidnapped in northwest Syria by unknown gunmen on 22 November, his parents said on  Thursday. He was in the country contributing videos to Agence France-Press (AFP), which has vowed to help secure his release.

Foley's parents, John and Diane Foley, decided to hold a news conference at their home in the US state of New Hampshire to make a public plea to his captors because the Foleys haven't received any information about their son in six weeks.

"We just don't know anything," Diane Foley said. "We don't know who has him."

They have kept the Christmas holiday lights on in the windows of their Rochester home as a vigil for their son's safe return.

"I appeal to the people who have Jim to let us know where he is and to help us secure his release," John Foley said. "We just pray that he's released."

Dangerous country

Twenty-eight journalists were killed in Syria in 2012, prompting the Committee to Protect Journalists to name Syria the most dangerous country in the world to work in last year.

The Foleys would not discuss any detail about efforts through the US government or otherwise to secure their son's release. Not long ago, they lived through the same anguish and fear over their son's safety.

In 2011, Foley was held by government forces in Libya while covering that country's civil war. Another journalist - South African photographer Anton Hammerl - was shot during their capture and left to die in the desert. Foley and another journalist were released after six weeks.

"I'll regret that day for the rest of my life," James Foley told The Associated Press in 2011. "I'll regret what happened to Anton."

Passionate journalist

Foley has worked in a number of conflict zones in the Middle East, including Syria, Libya and Iraq. He and another journalist were working in the northern province of Idlib in Syria when they were kidnapped in November near the village of Taftanaz. Agence France-Press Chairperson Emmanuel Hoog has said the agency is doing all it can to secure Foley's release.

"He's passionate about giving life to stories of people in conflict areas," Foley's father said on Thursday.

Asked if Foley had any reservations about going to Syria, Diane Foley replied softly: "Not enough."


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Romania rally to down Canada
Lancaster upbeat over Burgess' union future
LIVE: Fiji v Uruguay
Scotland primed for Samoa

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.