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Wives of Missing Alhurra Journalists Call for Support

Syria -- Smoke rises after a Syrian Air Force fighter jet launched missiles at El Edaa district in northwestern city of Aleppo, 05Sep2012
Syria -- Smoke rises after a Syrian Air Force fighter jet launched missiles at El Edaa district in northwestern city of Aleppo, 05Sep2012
The wives of missing Alhurra correspondent Bashar Fahmi and his cameraman, Cuneyt Unal, say they are consumed by fear and worry since the pair were captured on August 20.

In interviews with Alhurra TV and, Arzu Fahmi said that she was hoping for Bashar’s safe return and cited his extensive experience as a “talented and courageous reporter.” During an interview with Alhurra TV, Nuran Unal admitted the uncertainty has been difficult to endure. Here are excerpts:

Arzu Fahmi

“I am not well. I can’t take it anymore and I am worried. If I were able to hear his voice or see him, I would be more comfortable. I have not been able to tell my kids anything since the time of his abduction. I have to pretend for them in this way. There is no explanation I can provide my daughter and my son regarding their father. When I go out, they ask me to bring their father back with me and say they are waiting for him. And I always promise to bring him back with me. If I could just lay eyes on him, I would be more comfortable and patient.”

She added that her 10-year old son “is always crying and he knew that his father was on a formal mission in Hatay province. But when we had to came back to Turkey from Jerusalem after the abduction, I told him what happened and that his father is in Syria and he will come back to us God willing.”

“Since the beginning of this incident when I heard the news, I called the Turkish Foreign Ministry and they were concerned…when I came back to Turkey, I was in touch with them, especially with Mr. Osman Sert who kept in touch with me regularly. I thank them for all of their efforts. Also, the channel where my husband works (Alhurra) has undertaken efforts in regards to this matter. We pray that this ordeal will be over and Bashar will come back to us,” Bashar’s wife concluded.

Nuran Unal

“How can I take this anymore? I can’t endure anymore. Every day I feel hopeful but then I start to lose hope.” She appeals to the abductors of her husband “I ask them to set him free. I ask them to set free not only Bashar and my husband Cuneyt, but also all the hostages. They went to do their job as unbiased journalists to inform and cover news. (The abductors) know very well that they are journalists too,” She said.

“When I saw the images of my husband, the first thing came to my mind was relief that that he is alive. I felt good. But the way he was speaking, his movements, and the bruises on his face, made me realize that he is not in a good situation. He is being tortured,” Cuneyt Unal’s Wife added.

In regards to her husband holding a rocket propelled grenade (RPG), she said “this is absolutely impossible. It is obvious to everyone that it is a Photoshopped image.” She committed herself to joining all the organizations that work on the release of her husband and she “hopes that support comes not only from Turkey, but also from all around the world. We need to look at this incident more generally. Bashar and Cuneyt should be supported by everyone.”