RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Help by sharing this information —————————————————————————–14.04.2004 – French journalist released, four reporters remain hostages in Iraq News Follow the news on Iraq News News IraqMiddle East – North Africa Following the release of a Japaneese reporter and the likely abduction of one of his colleagues on 13 or 14 April, four journalists are believed to be held against their will in Iraq – three Czechs and a Japaneese. Reporters Without Borders urged the forces involved in the conflict to make every effort possible to obtain their release as quickly and safely as possible. Freelance photographer Soichiro Koriyama, 32, was released on 15 April along with two other Japanese civilians abducted on the road between Amman and Baghdad on 8 April. Morover another Japaneese journalist was probably kidnapped. The Japanese authorities today were still trying to confirm whether two more Japanese citizens, a humanitarian worker and a journalist, have been taken hostage. If confirmed, this would maintain the number of journalists currently held against their will in Iraq to four.A Japanese opposition legislator in the Jordanian capital of Amman said Junpei Yasuda, 30, a freelance journalist and regular contributor to the daily Tokyo Shimbun, was apparently kidnapped with his fellow-countryman in Abu Ghraib (a suburb of Baghdad) on 13 or 14 April. They were travelling in a taxi to the site of a forced landing by a US helicopter.In Tokyo, the Japan Visual Journalists Association (a network of freelance photographers and cameramen) reported that it had received an e-mail message from a colleague of Yasuda referring to the two abductions. “There has been a major disaster today,” the message said. “Watanabe and Yasuda were kidnapped before my very eyes.”A Tokyo Shimbun spokesperson said Yasuda had contacted the newspaper on 13 April asking if he should go to the besieged city of Falluja. When a colleague advised him not to go, he decided to cover the flight of civilians out of Falluja and, for that, to go to Baghdad. December 28, 2020 Find out more RSF_en February 15, 2021 Find out more to go further Reporters Without Borders today welcomed the release of the last journalist still held hostage in Iraq, Japanese freelancer Jumpei Yasuda, 30, a regular contributor to the daily Tokyo Shimbun. Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders has learned from the Czech public television channel CT that three Czech journalists have been freed after being held hostage for five days in Iraq. CT reporter Michal Kubal, CT cameraman Petr Klima and Vit Pohanka, a staff reporter with the public radio station Cro are safe and sound inside their embassy in Baghdad. Reporters Without Borders called for the release of Soichiro Koriyama, a contributor to Asahi Weekly.—————————————————————————————- 15.04.2004 – Japaneese reporter released, concern over fate of four journalists still held hostage Alexandre Jordanov (picture), a 40-year-old French journalist with the TV news agency Capa, was released today. He was kidnapped three days ago south of Baghdad with his cameraman, Yvan Cerieix, who was released after being held just a few hours. They were preparing a documentary for the French TV channelCanal+. Four foreign journalists – a Japanese and three Czechs – are stillbeing held against their will in Iraq. IraqMiddle East – North Africa Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” ——————————————————————————-14.04.2004 – Concern over fate of five journalists kidnapped Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today at the fate of five journalists – one Japanese, three Czechs and a Frenchman – who are currently held hostage or reported missing in Iraq. One of them has been held for six days.The organisation called on their abductors to release them and all the other civilians held against their will. It also urged the forces involved in the conflict to make every effort possible to obtain their release as quickly and safely as possible. The abductions are part of a wave of kidnapping in the past few days in which about 40 people from 12 different countries are currently held.Although primarily determined by the nationality of the victims, the abductions of journalists are having a dramatic impact on press freedom. They make the conditions of work for the news media especially dangerous. Journalists are forced to restrict their movements and safety becomes their overriding concern.With at least eight media workers – four journalists and four assistants – killed since the start of the year, Iraq is currently one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists.Reporters in the field are already comparing Iraq to Beirut at the worst moments of the 1975-1990 civil war, when many foreign journalists became the targets of attacks or kidnapping by various armed groups. Whether the demands of the abductors are political or financial, such actions are unacceptable, cowardly and contrary to the most basic norms of international law.Reporters Without Borders stressed that journalists carrying out dangerous work in war zones are regarded as civilians and must be “protected” as set out in the Geneva Conventions (article 79 of supplementary protocol 1 of 1977).Details of the abductions:Alexandre Jordanov, 40, of the French TV news agency Capa was apparently kidnapped in Latifiya, 30 km south of Baghdad on 11 April. He was preparing a documentary for the French channel Canal+ with his cameraman, Ivan Cerieix, who was held for a few hours by an Iraqi guerrilla group before being released that night. Jordanov, Cerieix, an Iraqi driver and an Iraqi interpreter had been driving towards Hilla to see the Polish contingent when they stopped to film fighting between US soldiers and Iraqis following an attack on a supply convoy.Three Czech journalists went missing in Taji, a locality north of Baghdad, on 11 April. Reporter Michal Kubal, 27, and cameraman Petr Klima, 40, of the public TV channel CT and reporter Vit Pohanka, 37, of the public radio station Cro were travelling together in taxi bound for the Jordanian capital of Amman.Three Japanese civilians were abducted on the road between Amman and Baghdad on 8 April. They include freelance photographer Soichiro Koriyama, 32, who is currently working for the Asahi Weekly. News April 17, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Release of last journalist held hostage in Iraq Reporters Without Borders today welcomed the release of the last journalist still held hostage in Iraq, Japanese freelancer Jumpei Yasuda, 30, a regular contributor to the daily Tokyo Shimbun.The Japanese authorities confirmed today that Yasuda and another Japanese civilian, humanitarian worker Nobutaka Watanabe, 36, had been freed. They were handed over to the Association of Iraqi Ulemas, a Sunni group that has helped obtain the release of other foreign hostages. Both were reported missing on 14 April although Japan never officially confirmed their disappearance.______________________________________________16.04.2004 – Iraqis release three Czech journalists, Japanese photographer believed still held Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Organisation December 16, 2020 Find out more
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