Spanish journalist Marc Marginedas has been released by his kidnappers after nearly six months of captivity in Syria. The reporter for the Barcelona-based newspaper El Periódico covered the use of chemical weapons in Syria before he was kidnapped by insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on Sept. 4, 2013.
He returned to Spain on Sunday after crossing the border into Turkey And being examined by doctors, according to the Spanish daily El Pais.
Marginedas had been moved by his captors “more frequently and in very adverse conditions” in recent weeks, according to El Periódico. He was kidnapped with his driver near the city of Hama at a checkpoint after being helped into Syria by members of the Free Syrian Army.
“We are delighted by Marginedas’ release and we hope that all the other journalists – both foreign and Syrian – currently held by rebels or the government in Syria will also soon be freed,” said Lucie Morillon, head of research at Reporters Without Borders.
The Islamic State is said to be holding others, including two other Spanish and four French journalists. “We urge all parties to the conflict to free not only all the news providers but also the peaceful human rights activists they are holding,” Morillon said,
Seventeen international journalists and more than 20 Syrian journalists are currently being held hostage by rebel groups or are missing, according to the France-based press group. It estimates that about 40 Syrian professional journalists and citizen-journalists are being held by the government.