The University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism is calling for the release of reporter Dorothy Parvaz, who is being held in Syria.
Parvaz landed in Damascus on Friday, April 29, on assignment for Al Jazeera, and Syrian officials have acknowledged she was taken into custody.
“When one journalist is attacked, we’re all attacked,” said Prof. Peter W. Klein, who heads the School of Journalism’s International Reporting Program.
“All journalists feel the pain, but so do all citizens of the world. Reporters like Dorothy Parvaz serve as critical eyes and ears in these hotspots.”
Parvaz, a Canadian, American and Iranian citizen, obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia, and went on to a successful career as a journalist at The Seattle Times, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Al Jazeera.
The UBC Graduate School of Journalism is urging the government of Canada to do everything in its power to bring Parvaz home to her family in North Vancouver.
“She is tough and she is a fighter – no doubt, she is stronger than us,” said her family in a written statement released on May 2. “We need to know where she is. We need to know who is holding her, and that she is comfortable. She is very loved. We need to know that she is safe.”