No trace of missing Palestinian journalist Bashar Kadumi in Syria
HATAY – Anatolia News Agency
No trace of missing journalist Kadumi was found in Syria, the CHP says.Palestinian journalist Bashar Kadumi, who has been missing in Syria for over 190 days, may be dead as there is no trace of him in the country, a parliamentary delegation from the main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) said March 8 after returning from a visit to the neighboring nation.
“We said [this] when we received Cüneyt Ünal as well. It is supposed that Kadumi is dead because there is no passport, identity card or any registration [to be found]. There is no trace of him,” said Hasan Akgöl, the head of the delegation who met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on March 7. “We will share this with his wife, but let’s hope we are mistaken and we will [find] him.” Ünal, a Turkish journalist covering fighting in Aleppo in August 2012 with Kadumi was retrieved by a CHP delegation on Nov. 18, but no information was obtained on Kadumi’s fate. The two were both working for the U.S.-based al-Hurra TV broadcaster before they went missing.
Akgöl, however, said that Syrian President al-Assad vowed to do his best to return the missing journalist. “The Syrian government vowed they will do their best to return Kadumi or his body, in the case of his death,” said the Hatay deputy.
Arzu Kadumi, Kadumi’s wife, had previously accused Turkey of not fulfilling its promises on the matter. “We are treated like second-class citizens. I do not want to make such a comparison, but Ünal is a citizen of the Turkish Republic, which strongly backs him. But there is no one who backs Kadumi,” she told the Hürriyet Daily News.
She met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Istanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace in December 2012, asking for his help in securing the return of her husband. Arzu Kadumi and Kadumi’s journalist colleagues have gathered in front of the Syrian Consulate in Istanbul every Tuesday to demand the return of the captured journalist.
Separately, CHP deputy leader Şafak Pavey called on Asma al-Assad to release foreign journalists in a 40-minute long meeting on March 7. Pavey also requested Asma al-Assad to locate missing foreign journalists, including Kadumi, and return them to their homelands, according to daily Cumhuriyet. Pavey also asked Asma al-Assad to step in personally on the issue of Syrian refugees.