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On World Press Freedom Day, three nations call for release of Dorothy Parvaz

Posted by Alan Wirzbicki  May 3, 2011 02:20 PM

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Journalist Dorothy Parvaz, a 2009 Neiman Fellow at Harvard, flew into Damascus airport Friday on assignment to cover the unrest in Syria and has not been heard from since.

Parvaz has citizenship in the United States, Canada, and Iran, and she's worked at news outlets worldwide, including her current employer, Al Jazeera English, and for several years on the editorial board for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where I found her to be a brilliant and kind person. Her sphere of journalistic influence and her network of friends and colleagues is great; the FreeDorothy Facebook page grew to over 1,600 followers quickly after establishment.

Parvaz's fiancée, an Oregon native living in Luxembourg, last had contact with her Thursday night.

It's thought that Parvaz is being detained by the Syrian government. The Iranian foreign minister, the United States embassy, and the Canadian embassy have joined Al Jazeera in demanding that Syria release information about Dorothy's whereabouts.

Up-to-date information on Parvaz can be found at the Facebook page and at the Twitter hashtag #freedorothy.

By coincidence, today is World Press Freedom Day. War correspondents make enormous sacrifices to bring information to the public, and more than 80 attacks have been documented thus far just in Libya. "Attacks on journalists are acts of war against the world," the Globe editorialized today, noting the occasion. The Syrian government needs to heed that message, and release Parvaz now.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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