Hollande Calls for Release of 2 French Reporters Missing in Syriaإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
French President Francois Hollande called on Friday for the immediate release of two French journalists who have gone missing in war-torn Syria.
"I demand that these journalists be freed immediately," Hollande told reporters in Japan, where he is currently on a tour, without mentioning the names or affiliation of those missing.
The reporters "are not representatives of any state, they are men who work so that the world can receive information," Hollande said.
"The press must circulate in Syria in order to provide news awaited by the entire world" on what is happening in the country, he said.
The employer of the journalists, Europe 1, confirmed that there was no word from them in 24 hours.
The pair were named as Didier Francois, a seasoned reporter in troublespots, and photographer Edouard Elias, the radio station said in a statement to Agence France Presse, adding that it was working with the French authorities to obtain more information.
Since the start of uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime in March 2011, at least 24 journalists, including several foreigners, have been killed in the strife, according to Reporters Without Borders watchdog group.