April 5th, 2011

Syria Releases Photographer Held for Six Days

Syrian authorities have released Reuters photographer Khaled al-Hariri, who had been missing since Sunday March 27, Reuters reports.

Al-Hariri, a Syrian who has worked for the Reuters for more than 20 years, was on his way to work at the Damascus office of the agency when a witness saw him stopped by two men who then lead him away.  A Syrian official told the agency last week he would be released “if there was no evidence against him.”

“Reuters is relieved that Khaled al-Hariri has been released,” Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said in a statement issued on Monday. “Thankfully he has now safely returned home to his family.”

Al-Hariri is one of several journalists who have been detained in the past week and a half in Syria, where protesters have taken to the streets to demonstrate against President Bashar al-Assad.  Two Lebanese television journalist and a Jordanian reporter were held for two to three days and then deported.  Another Jordanian reporter with Reuters was immediately expelled from the country without being detained. The AP has reported that two of its journalists were ordered out of Syria with less than an hour’s notice.