After two years in captivity, US journalist freed in Syria
The United Nations has said an American freelance journalist, held captive for nearly two years by militants in Syria, was freed and handed over to its peacekeepers in the Golan Heights.
A note issued by the UN Spokesperson’s Office confirmed that the world body had facilitated the handover of journalist Peter Theo Curtis. “He was handed over to UN peacekeepers in Al Rafid village, Quneitra, the Golan Heights, at 6:40 pm (local time) on 24 August 2014. After receiving a medical check-up, Curtis was handed over to representatives of his government,” the brief note concluded.
Curtis, a 45-year-old freelance journalist from Boston, was abducted near the Syria-Turkey border in October 2012. He was reportedly being held by Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.
The group along with Islamic State militants was recently targeted by the UN Security Council, which adopted a wide-ranging resolution naming six individuals from the groups to its sanctions list.
In addition, just two days ago, the Council strongly condemned the “heinous and cowardly” murder of American journalist James Foley by militants and demanded the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all other hostages.
“This incident is a tragic reminder of the increasing dangers journalists face every day in Syria. It also once again demonstrates the brutality of IS, which is responsible for thousands of abuses against the Syrian and Iraqi people,” the council said in a statement to the press.