Tags: Al-Qaida | Syria | War on Terrorism | turkey | syria | journalist | jihadists

Turkish Journalist: Syrian Jihadists Promised an 'Honorable' Execution

By    |   Monday, 06 January 2014 01:42 PM

Turkish photojournalist Bunyamin Aygun, freed Sunday after being kidnapped by jihadists in Syria, said his abductors threatened to cut him "into pieces," Hurriyet Daily News reported

Aygun was welcomed home by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu following his rescue by a Turkish commando squad that went 12 miles inside Syria to spirit him to freedom.
 
Aygun, who worked for the Turkish daily Milliyet, was kidnapped in late November after interviewing a Syrian opposition military leader and held captive for 40 days.The journalist spent much of his time in captivity handcuffed and blindfolded. 

Twenty days into the ordeal, Aygun said, a kidnapper designated a “kadi” (Muslim judge) told him he would be executed, according to Hurriyet. 
 
“It’s either execution by fusillade or being cut into pieces. We will cut you into pieces; this is more honorable for you,” the judge said.

Aygun said that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) had raided the house where he was being held.

But the FSA, which is fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad,  took the original abductors (who Aygun identified as members of the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State in Iraq and as-Sham) captive without freeing him.

Then on Sunday, the commandos crossed into northern Syria and rescued Aygun.

The operation followed ongoing demonstrations by journalists in Istanbul protesting attacks on reporters in Syria and demanding that Ankara do more to find kidnapped members of the media. 

 
Aygun is one of 30 journalists to have disappeared in Syria since the conflict there started in March 2011.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has estimated that approximately 70 journalists were killed in Syria last year, Euronews.com reported

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Turkish photojournalist Bunyamin Aygun, freed Sunday after being kidnapped by jihadists in Syria, said his abductors threatened to cut him "into pieces," Hurriyet Daily News reported.
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Monday, 06 January 2014 01:42 PM
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