News

July 6, 2018

Syria : Japanese journalist, hostage for past three years, seen in video

Nippon news network
A Japanese TV channel, Nippon News Network, today broadcast a video dated 17 October 2017 showing Jumpei Yasuda, a Japanese journalist who has been the prisoner of a Syrian armed group for more than three years. He appears in good health in the video and says that he is “doing OK” and hopes “to see his family again soon.”

“This video has revived hopes that Jumpei Yasuda is still alive,” said Cédric Alviani, the head of the East Asia bureau of Reporters Without Borders (RSF). “We urge the Japanese authorities and the international community to do everything possible to obtain this journalist’s release.”

 

According to various sources, Yasuda was kidnapped in 2015 by an armed Islamist group, the same group that held three Spanish journalists who were kidnapped the same year and were finally freed after ten months.

 

Ranked 177th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index, Syria is the world’s most dangerous country for journalists.