Ten months following their abduction, the ordeal of the four French journalists kidnapped in Syria came to an end after they were released in circumstances of which details have not yet been provided.
On 18/4/2014, the Turkish authorities found the French journalists with their hands tied and their eyes covered on the Syrian-Turkish borders. They were transferred to Gaziantep, and from there, transferred to a French military plane on the evening of Saturday 19/4/2014.
Didier Francoise, a correspondent for Europa 1 was abducted on 6/6/2013 with the camera man Edward Elias, in Northern Aleppo, whilst Nicolas Inan, a journalist for the Le Point magazine as well as Pierre Torres, an independent photographer, were abducted on 22/6/2013 in Ar-Raqqah. According to information gained by SHRC, they were detained by ISIS, and released most likely due to negotiations with the French Government or a third party, even though the custom is that Western governments do not announce negotiations with extremist groups.
The French foreign minister described the operation to release the four journalists as “long, exhausting, difficult and secret”. He thanked his Turkish counterpart Davud Oglo for allowing his country to take part in easing the swift return journey for the released journalists. In an interview with France 24, Nicolas Inan, one of the previously abducted journalists, said that he managed to run away for three days following his abduction, before his captors caught him once again.
He also said that he passed by ten places during his captivity, and that most of the time he was with others, especially Pierre Torres.
He also added that, “usually, we were not given good food, except in the last nights, in which we were fed well.”
More than 32 foreign journalists remain abducted within Syria, in addition to around 45 Syrian media activists, most of whom were abducted by ISIS.