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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Syria holding US reporter, family says”

     

    SEATTLE — Syrian officials have confirmed they have detained journalist Dorothy Parvaz, her fiance; said in an email on Wednesday.

    Todd Barker spread the news in email to supporters, writing: “”Let’s up the pressure to get her home safe.””

    Parvaz’s father, Fred Parvaz, said he learned that his daughter is in Syrian hands from Al-Jazeera, the news agency where his daughter works. “”It’s good news we now know where she is,”” he said. “”Al-Jazeera told us Syrian authorities admitted they’re holding her. That’s all we know now. She’s there in custody of Syrian authorities.””

    He said the news comes as a relief after six days of worry. “”When they tell you your daughter’s in jail and you’re happy, that sums it up,”” he said. “”At least someone’s feeding her and there’s a roof over her head.””

    On Tuesday, the day before Syrian officials revealed they were holding her, officials with the U.S. Embassy in Damascus confirmed that the U.S. ambassador to Syria had met with a senior Syrian official about Parvaz, who disappeared in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Friday.

    “”Ambassador (Robert) Ford … asked for more information and consular access,”” wrote J.J. Harder, press attache at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus. “”We are aware of the case and have reached out to Syrian officials for more information.”” Parvaz had flown to Syria on Friday from Doha, Qatar.

    Parvaz, 39, has been described as a tough, hardworking reporter who loves being in difficult situations.

    Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., also had made a formal inquiry to the State Department asking for help finding Parvaz.

    Parvaz’s friends have been calling and emailing Syrian officials in Washington, D.C., to try to bring about her safe return, and the national Asian American Journalists Association sent a letter to the Syrian ambassador in Washington. Parvaz worked as a reporter and columnist at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, writing under the byline D. Parvaz. She also worked briefly at The Seattle Times.

    She joined Al-Jazeera in 2010 and had just finished covering the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

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