The Syrian authorities have now admitted that they have detained Dorothy Parvaz, a friend and a former Fellow on the Wolfson Press Fellowship Programme of which I am the Director. Dorothy works for Al Jazeera English and is based in Doha, Qatar. She’s a terrific journalist and a lovely person. Last Friday she flew to Damascus on a reporting mission and since then nobody has seen or heard anything from her. Through the MP for Cambridge, Julian Huppert, we have been pressing the British Foreign Office to make inquiries about her whereabouts. Al Jazeera have also been pressing very hard for her release. The Syrian admission is a step in the right direction, but none of us will rest until she is safely back in Qatar.
Her fiancee, Todd Barker, has recorded this video appeal, which is now on the Al Jazeera site.
Al Jazeera are maintaining a regularly-updated page about Dorothy.
There’s an interesting post by Swami Avi on the Free Dorothy Parvaz Facebook page which says:
I interviewed Syria’s chargé d’affaires to Canada today, Bashar Akbik, and he said Dorothy Parvaz was arrested in Syria for probably not registering herself with that country’s Ministry of Information–a requirement for foreign journalists. Interestingly, he noted that Al Jazeera is a tool of the Muslim Brotherhood, and are “working to undermine Syria’s regime.”