Freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova and reporter Javier Espinosa of El Mundo were abducted in Syria on September 16, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The families of the journalists made the news of their capture public today. According to CPJ, they were abducted at gunpoint at a checkpoint near tal-Abyad in northern Syria and taken to a detention center run by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, an Al-Qaeda affiliate that has been operating in Syria amidst fighting between the Syrian Army and rebels opposed to the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.
Vilanova has been covering the conflict in Syria for over a year; his photos have been published by CNN Photos and Al Jazeera. At the time of their abduction, Vilanova and Espinosa were accompanied by four soldiers of the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group; the soldiers were released two weeks after they were captured alongside the journalists.
CPJ ranks Syria as the most dangerous country in the world for journalists. Since the uprising began, numerous journalists have been abducted or murdered.
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Mary F. Calvert, Kirsten Luce, Katie Orlinsky, Sergey Ponomarev and Jonathan Torgovnik have each won a $10,000 grant from Getty Images through its annual Grants for Editorial Photography program. The program aims to “showcase and support powerful and inspiring photojournalism projects,” says Getty Images, which announced the winners today. Ponomarev, based in Moscow, was recognized for his... More ›