Syria: About the Abduction of Journalist Anhar Kochneva – Syria: Ukrainian journalist Anhar Kochneva kidnapped by FSA.

It is likely that it has already spread, that Anhar Kochneva (sometimes Anhar Kotschnewa / Anhkar Kochneva), a free journalist who is living in the Syrian capital Damascus since October 2011, disappeared and was presumably kidnapped by a rebel gang.

On 8 October, exactly a week ago, she headed off Damascus with an initially unknown destination.

On Friday afternoon, her friends and acquaintances have started to raise the alarm.

Her last diary entry is from 8 October and sounds in the following way:

Don`t search me for some days, I drive away. If there is Internet available, I will report from there.

That is absolutely not unusual for her. Usually, she pops up again after a while and presents pictures and reports about current “revolutionary” events. As it has turned out, she went to (the Syrian city) Tartus (Tartous); SANA has reported about her presentation at the local cultural centre on Tuesday.

She travelled in the company of her friend and Russian colleague (also journalist) Elena Gromova, and what has happened after this joint appointment is described by the latter as follows:

After the appointment in the cultural centre, she wanted to travel to Homs in order to prepare something there for a reportage (coverage) by a journalist of NTV, Vadim Fefilow. I suppose, that she wanted to figure out at army people [she has a lot of good contacts among them – apxwn] whether it is somehow possible to get to Aleppo. I asked her if we want to go together, but she wanted to make the trip alone.

On Tuesday against 17 o`clock, she has left the Officers` Club in Tartous (Tartus) by cab. The taxi driver was a bearded man. That’s all I can say. (As it has turned out later, the meanwhile interrogated taxi driver has delivered her safely at her destination and had no evil in mind.)

On Wednesday night, she should have arrived again in Damascus. The last time I had telephone contact with her was at last Tuesday evening at about 21 o`clock. The next morning, her phone was already no longer accessible. Now I hear that she has been reportedly kidnapped in the region of Al-Qusayr. I have no idea why she has gone there.

anhar01 Syria: About the Abduction of Journalist Anhar Kochneva

Anhar Kochneva

Anhar Kochneva`s former husband, who is living in Moscow, has reported, that he has received a text message from the mobile phone of his ex-wife on Friday at 9.30 o`clock, in which she has told that she has been kidnapped and that he should get in contact with the Syrian Embassy in Moscow. When he has asked what he should tell them, he got the reply, that the Ambassador should contact the Syrian army. The message concluded with the request: “Do not write, and do not call”.

Another friend from Kotschnewa, Eldar Giljalow said that he has also received a text message from her: “Here, fighting takes place. There, where the enemy shoots”. Maybe this should be an indication of her current position.

Yet on Friday, she has allegedly tried to call the film crew of NTV in a hotel in Damascus, but the connection broke off. That alone is not a reason to panic, because in places where hostilities take place, the mobile networks are getting temporarily shut off.

On Sunday, so yesterday, her former husband has allegedly (according to “Izvestia”) again received a short message: “I hope all will soon be all right. Do not write.”

This is everything at this stage. Just now, an official statement was published by the Russian Foreign Ministry:

Information of the official representative of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation, AK Lukashevich, on the reports of the disappearance of the journalist A. Kochneva in Syria.

In connection with the reports about the disappearance of Anhar Kochneva in Syria, I can say the following:

Kochneva is a citizen of Ukraine and she lives permanently in Syria. As part of its activities as a journalist she has worked with a number of Russian news agencies and TV channels. Currently, the Russian embassy in Damascus is coordinating, with the help of the Ukrainian local representatives, strong actions to clarify the situation and for the beginning of actions for the liberation of A. Kochneva.

anhar00 334x500 Syria: About the Abduction of Journalist Anhar Kochneva

Anhar Kochneva

Therewith, the kidnapping / the arrest is officially confirmed. The “opposition” has not yet said anything about it. Kochneva`s (Anhar Kotschnewa / Anhkar Kochneva) roommate is unfortunately anything but optimistic.

Firstly, she is not really able to confirm the signs of life by Kochneva (and almost denies this), on the other hand, she knows that there were dozens of death threats against Kochneva for a long time and even against herself, among other things, also by the part of the supporters of the “Syrian opposition” in Moscow.

Anhar Kochneva (Anhar Kotschnewa) mother is Palestinian; her passport says that she is a Ukrainian. She was may be working as a freelance journalist for a lot of agencies (including the German news station N24 – here a reportage that was originated with her legwork: Homs is her turf, she has the best contacts there), but she has no constant journalistic accreditation in Syria, she is living there freely – she is an idealist, as there can be hardly a second one.

As a journalist loyal, but always correct; in her private blog, she was often annoyed to angry till to a violent rage against the “opposition” rebel gangs. This has brought her the accusations, hateful tirades and the anonymous death threats by revolutionaries.

After her disappearance was announced in public, her blog was flooded with hateful comments and death wishes downright disgusting. Meanwhile, somebody has taken care about this.

However, she had not only disputes with the “opposition”. There were also differences of opinion with other activists on location, including Marat Musin from ANNA-News.

Her commitment is unique. Virtually, one has received an immediate message about any incident in Damascus, for example like this:  ”I hear gunshots. I grab my camera and run there, more details later.” And some time later, the information and images were from first hand.

Let’s hope fervently, that the story ends leniently.


The post Syria: About the Abduction of Journalist Anhar Kochneva appeared first on SyriaNews.

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