One of our own, Dorothy Parvaz, a former Seattle Post-Intelligencer writer and AAJA Seattle member who joined Al Jazeera in 2010, is missing in Syria.
Some suspect she has been detained by Syrian authorities. This could be a fast-changing situation, so please tweet updates using hashtag #FreeDorothy.
Al Jazeera has demanded her return safely. She left Qatar on Friday for Syria to help cover events taking place there. Al Jazeera reports there has been no contact with the 39-year-old since she disembarked from a Qatar Airways flight in Damascus.
An Al Jazeera spokesman said: â€œWe are concerned for Dorothyâ€™s safety and wellbeing. We are requesting full cooperation from the Syrian authorities to determine how she was processed at the airport and what her current location is. We want her returned to us immediately.â€
Read more from Al Jazeera here: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/05/20115211460620208.html
Some of you know Dorothy well, while others may only have read her byline. I pray she is safe and will come back to her colleagues as soon as possible.
I’m in touch with the Committee to Protect Journalists and monitoring this to see how AAJA Seattle might offer constructive support. We will continue to post updates as we receive more information.
On Twitter, some AAJA members already have begun to call on the Syrian government to release Dorothy. Hashtag is #FreeDorothy.
Former colleague Larry Johnson advises:
“She’s been missing since Friday. Everyone should contact the Syrian embassy in Washington, D.C. Calls are best, emails help. We need to do this now!” he wrote to P-I Help Google group.
Marsha Milroy provided contact info:
The Embassy Main Line (202) 232-6316 And their press office: firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-232-6313 x139
I will be crafting a letter on behalf of AAJA Seattle to the Syrian embassy.
President, AAJA Seattle
Reporter, The Seattle Times