Statement from Ghassan Abboud, Head of Orient TV, on Kidnap of Crew

Group calls for protection from the opposition military forces after being targeted multiple times

An armed group attacked the offices of the Orient TV news channel in the city of Tal Rifaat, in the northern countryside of Aleppo on Thursday, also detaining our reporter Obaida Batal and crew members Hossam Nizam ad-Din and Abboud al-Muteq.

 

The four have been taken to an unknown location.

 

The same armed group looted the office, robbed the broadcast vehicle and stole filming equipment.

 

This attack came just a few days after the murder of one of our Orient Humanitarian Foundation paramedics, Hassan Barakat.

 

Barakat died when regime forces opened fire at a medical unit operating from the foundation while conducting humanitarian work in the region of Khan al-Asal, treating wounded and injured people without discrimination.

 

A reporter with another TV channel in Jisr al-Shogour, Ammar Dendesh was also seriously injured while covering the battles there.

 

The channel's cameraman Abboud Haddad was also kidnapped and has now been held for three weeks. Their reporter in Damascus, Mohammad Mouaz was killed by regime forces during shelling last week.

 

The Ghassan Abboud Group calls on all parties to respect the work of medical crews, journalists and reporters and to facilitate their medical and media work.

 

As it seems our calls to the regime are useless, because of its intention right from the beginning of the crisis target medical and media crews, we now call on all military forces, including the military and rebel councils, as well as the Chief of Staff of the Free Syrian Army to provide protection to the medical and media crews.

 

We also call on international organizations including the Arab Red Crescent, the International Red Cross and United Nations organizations to help mediate the release of the Orient News crew. On this occasion, the Group assures that it will continue its humanitarian and media operations.

 

Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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