Kidnapped Dutch photographer released

RNW archive

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Dutch photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans was released last night after being kidnapped in northern Syria a week ago.

Oerlemans was working near the Turkish border when he was kidnapped together with a British journalist last Thursday. The abduction was kept secret at the families’ request. The Dutch Foreign Ministry yesterday received confirmation that the two had been freed. Oerlemans is wounded but is understood to be in reasonable condition under the circumstances. He is now in Turkey and has had contact with his family.

The Dutchman was a prize winner in both 2010 and 2011 at the Silver Camera Awards which honour photo journalists. He has worked in various conflict areas including Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.

The Dutch Foreign ministry stressed that it was government policy never to pay a ransom or to negotiate with kidnappers. It is not yet known who was responsible for abducting the two journalists.

Image: Photo of a soldier in Iraq for which Oerlemans won a Silver Camera Award.