According to reports, American journalist Peter Theo Curtis was in the custody of United Nations officials following two years of captivity in Syria. Curtis was being held by the Jabhat al-Nusra group. It was said that representatives from Qatar were active in securing Curtis’ release.
Curtis’ mother Nancy Curtis spoke out on the events, and in her comments, mentioned Jim Foley, who was recently killed by ISIS forces. In her comments, she said:
“My heart is full at the extraordinary, dedicated, incredible people, too many to name individually, who have become my friends and have tirelessly helped us over these many months,” said Curtis’ mother, Nancy Curtis, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Please know that we will be eternally grateful.”
She continued by saying that “We are so relieved that Theo is healthy and safe and that he is finally headed home after his ordeal, but we are also deeply saddened by the terrible, unjustified killing last week of his fellow journalist, Jim Foley, at the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS.”
The release of Curtis is excellent news. Journalists are not part of these conflicts, and thus, like all non-combatants, should not be targeted, as this clearly goes against ideas of just war. It is critical to always speak out against any capturing of a journalist or non-combatant, whether it is in Syria, Iraq, or through false charges as is the case of journalists in Egypt.
This story however should also continue to remind us of the dangers of being in a war zone. In addition, we should continue to call for justice regarding the brutal killing of Jim Foley. Individuals who were responsible for that killing should be tried in a court of law.
It will be interesting to see if new details will emerge regarding how the Qatari representatives and anyone else involved were able to secure the release of Curtis.