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January 29, 2015 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Appeal by wife of Japanese journalist threatened with execution


The wife of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, an Islamic State hostage in Syria who is facing the possibility of imminent execution, has issued a public statement for the first time, appealing to the Jordanian and Japanese governments to try to obtain his release as soon as possible.

Reporters Without Borders urges the Japanese and Jordanian authorities to take all possible measures to ensure that Islamic State does not carry out its ultimatum.

Goto’s wife, Rinko Jogo, released her appeal today through the Rory Peck Trust, a London-based NGO that defends and helps freelance journalists. (See the entire message).

My husband and I have two very young daughters,” Jogo wrote. “Our baby girl was only three weeks old when Kenji left. I hope our oldest daughter, who is just two, will get to see her father again. I want them both to grow up knowing their father.

My husband is a good and honest man who went to Syria to show the plight of those who suffer. I believe that Kenji may have also been trying to find out about Haruna Yukawa’s situation. I was extremely saddened by the death of Haruna and my thoughts go out to his family. I know all too well what they are going through.

Jogo quotes the message she received yesterday from Islamic State. “You must publicize and expose this message to the world media now! Otherwise Kenji will be next,” IS wrote to her, presenting a new ultimatum to the Jordanian and Japanese governments, which are working together on the issue.

Jogo added: “I fear that this is the last chance for my husband and we now have only a few hours left to secure his release and the life of Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh. I beg the Jordanian and Japanese governments to understand that the fates of both men are in their hands.

Reporters Without Borders appeals again to the two governments to do all they can to free Goto.

Ranked 177th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, Syria is the world’s deadliest country for professional and citizen-journalists, who try to prevent it from turning into a news and information “black hole.”