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BBG Seeks Third-Party Assessment of Journalist in Syrian Hands

The Broadcasting Board of Governors, which protects the
independence of the U.S. government's international broadcasts, including
Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN), has asked the Syrian government for
third-party access to detained Alhurra cameraman Cuneyt Unal and any
information on the whereabouts of Alhurra correspondent Bashar Fahmi. Both have
been missingin Syria since mid-August, where they were covering the conflict there.

In renewingits call for the immediate release of the journalists, BBG asked, at the
least, for a third party to assess his wellbeing and provide medical care if

Unal, who is Turkish, was shown in a video Aug. 26 on a
Syrian government channel claiming to be part of an international militant
force. The Turkish ambassador has maintained Unal was forced to make the
statement. The Syrian government has said it does not know where Fahmi is.

"We know that Fahmi and Unal were together when they were
captured in Syria," said BBG board member Michael Meehan, Chairman of the
U.S.-funded Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. that includes Alhurra. "The
BBG remains concerned about the welfare and safety of two men, who were in
Syria on a purely journalistic mission, and we continue to demand their release
without delay."