• Germany's news in English
Kidnapped German journalist and her baby freed in Syria
File photo of a Syrian soldier: SANA/DPA.

Kidnapped German journalist and her baby freed in Syria

AFP/The Local · 29 Sep 2016, 10:29

Published: 29 Sep 2016 10:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Sep 2016 10:29 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The pair were released on Wednesday and had safely crossed the border into Turkey, a foreign office spokeswoman said, declining to name the woman.

"The German national and her child who was born in captivity are doing well under the circumstances," she said, adding that they were now safely in the care of consular officers and German police.

The German embassy in Ankara was preparing their journey home.

The German government is "relieved about the positive outcome of this case given the extraordinarily difficult situation in Syria," the spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The foreign office gave no further details.

German media have identified the woman as a freelance journalist who travelled to Syria on the promise of getting exclusive information.

Focus magazine reported earlier this year that the 27-year-old had gone missing in October 2015, apparently kidnapped by militants from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front who were demanding a €5 million ransom.

The weekly said she gave birth in December.

But members of the jihadist group, which is now known as Fateh al-Sham, said in a statement on Wednesday that they had nothing to do with the kidnapping and had in fact been the ones to free the woman and her baby, according to the SITE intelligence group.

The German government says it does not pay ransom demands for hostages.

The foreign office spokeswoman said German officials had made "considerable efforts to resolve the case".

Story continues below…

“We and the relatives and colleagues of the abducted woman are happy that this awful kidnapping has come to an end,” said Christian Mihr, director of Reporters Without Borders Germany, in a statement.

“Our thanks and appreciation go to the German authorities who prevented the abduction from becoming an execution like what happened with James Foley and other journalists. It was important that the German media protected their colleague, almost unanimously avoiding exploiting it as a sensational report.

“Our hope is that those responsible for this crime will be held accountable sooner rather than later. Only in this way can the cycle of impunity be broken.”

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd