Four French Journalists Freed After A Year Of Captivity In Syria

Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Pierre Torres, and Nicolas Henin have been freed after being held captive for almost a year in Syria.

Benoit Tessier / Reuters / Reuters

On Saturday morning, four French journalists who had been held captive in Syria since July 2013 were freed.

The four men, Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin, and Pierre Torres were “in good health,” French President Francois Hollande said.

The four reporters were allegedly found by Turkish soldiers guarding the border of Sanliurfa and Syria, BBC reports. They were blindfolded with their hands bound.

/Haytham/Torres Family/Benoit Schaeffer/AFP

From left: Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Pierre Torres, and Nicolas Henin.

The four men went missing in two separate incidents last year. The same jihadist group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), was accused of kidnapping them. Francois, a veteran war correspondent working for Europe 1 radio, and Elias, a photographer, were taken in the same incident in early June on their way to Aleppo.

Henin, on assignment for Le Point magazine, and Torres, reporting for French-German television channel Arte, were abducted in late June near Raqqa.

In a brief press conference in a Turkish police station, Francois said he was “very happy to be free.”

“We thank the Turkish authorities because they really helped us. And it’s very nice to see the sky, to be able to walk, to be able to speak freely. I’m really happy,” Francois added.

Syria is one of the most dangerous places for journalists in the world. More than 60 have been reported killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began three years ago.

5. Watch footage of the journalists arriving in Turkey.

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