Journalists due in Paris after Syria escape: France
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
A Lebanese Red Cross ambulance follows Lebanese police vehicles carrying two injured French journalists who were trapped at Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs province after they were wounded by the Syrian government forces shelling, to enter the hospital of Hotel Dieu, in Beirut, Lebanon, on early Friday March 2, 2012. AP PhotoFrench journalists Edith Bouvier and William Daniels were to arrive in Paris today after being evacuated from Syria to Lebanon, the foreign ministry said.
They were expected to arrive in "the early evening", ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told AFP, adding: "It will be up to doctors to give the green light for this repatriation." French officials announced late Thursday that Bouvier, 31, and Daniels, 34, had escaped to Lebanon after being trapped for days under bombardment in the flashpoint Syrian city of Homs.
Le Figaro reporter Bouvier has multiple fractures from a February 22 rocket attack on a rebel makeshift media centre in Baba Amr in Homs in which US veteran reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed.
A diplomatic source told AFP that Bouvier and Daniels were under observation at a Beirut hospital and that Bouvier was in "stable" condition.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Friday that Syrian authorities had not assisted in the evacuation of the two French journalists, but he would not reveal details of how they escaped to Lebanon.
"Syrian authorities did not comply with the request we made to send the French ambassador to Homs so that he could make contact with the Red Crescent and the Red Cross, and to give all security guarantees" for the two journalists, Juppe told reporters in Bordeaux.
"I will say no more about the route or the methods of the evacuation out of concern for the safety of those involved," he said.
Juppe also said France would "continue all its actions to isolate (the Syrian regime) and to try to avoid a massacre" in Homs, where a Red Cross relief convoy was headed Friday after regime forces overran Baba Amr.
The evacuation followed the earlier escapes from Syria to Lebanon of British photographer Paul Conroy and Spanish reporter Javier Espinosa, who had also been caught up in the attack on the media centre.