SKeyes Statements | Syria
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Syrian opposition activists kidnapped journalist Anhar Kochneva on October 9, 2012, while she was heading to Homs. Activists close to the Al-Qusayr military opposition said Kochneva was safe and sound; negotiations were also initiated to release her in exchange for Syrian detainees in the regime’s prisons. Activists also said Kochneva had not been and will not be victim of any abuse.
The SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom strongly condemns the kidnapping of journalists, for whatever reason and regardless of the responsible party. Also, it holds the kidnappers fully responsible for any damage Kochneva might incur or for any life-threatening danger she might be exposed to. SKeyes calls on the responsible party to provide concrete evidence showing that Kochneva is safe.
The SKeyes Center reminds the Syrian opposition that abducting civilians and limiting their freedom go against the principles for which the Syrian revolution was born; these principles are set out in the Code of Conduct it undertook to respect. Article two of the Code calls for the respect of human rights in accordance with the religious principles and the Universal Declaration for Human Rights. Also, the armed opposition has pledged not to resort to theft and looting to finance the armed intervention and not to take people hostage (article 7 of the Code). The SKeyes Center calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Kochneva and insists on the necessity of keeping journalists away from any conflict, whatever their affiliation and beliefs are.