On 28 December, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) removed a six-day-old press release from its website that was about Jumpei Yasuda, a Japanese journalist held hostage in Syria since July. RSF posted a brief note the same day saying the release “was not drafted according to normal procedure and was not sufficiently verified.”
An investigation had established that, contrary to RSF’s internal rules, information in the release was unfortunately based on a single source in the absence of certainty that the source obtained the information at first hand. Some of the statements made in the release should therefore not have been published.
“On behalf of RSF, I offer my most sincere apologies to Jumpei Yasuda’s family, friends and colleagues, and to the Japanese media and public,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.
RSF would also like to deny the far-fetched claims that the release was withdrawn at the request of the Japanese authorities or as a result of pressure from them.
RSF believes that Yasuda’s situation deserved to be brought to the public’s attention.