French journalists Didier François and Edouard Elias, a photographer, have been abducted in Syria, authorities have confirmed
Speaking from Japan, French president François Hollande has asked for the journalists’ immediate release. “We have indeed lost contact with these two journalists, but we do not yet know the exact circumstances,” the BBC reports Hollande as saying. “I demand the immediate release of these journalists because they do not represent any state. These are men who have worked so the world can get information. Journalists must be treated as journalists.”
News of their abduction was first reported by Les Echos and confirmed by Europe 1 – which had commissionned both journalists. Europe 1, a French radio station, says it is in contact with French authorities to help in the journalists’ release.
Elias, a 22-year-old photographer, recently joined the agency Haytham Pictures. Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, he has made several trips in Aleppo. His work has been published by Paris Match, Der Spiegel and The Sunday Times among many others.
In a statement, Haytham Pictures’ director Christian Sauvan-Magnet says that the agency is also in contact with French authorities to ensure Elias’ safe return.