National Press Club

National Press Club to Syria: Release imprisoned journalists

May 10, 2011 | By John Donnelly | jdonnelly@cq.com

Al-Jazeera reporter Dorothy Parvaz

Al-Jazeera reporter Dorothy Parvaz

The National Press Club urges the Syrian government to release and guarantee the safety of imprisoned journalists, including Dorothy Parvaz, an Al-Jazeera reporter who formerly worked for the Hearst newspaper chain.

Parvaz is one of several journalists who have been imprisoned in Syria. Parvaz went there recently to cover the uprising and has been detained by the government and blocked from letting anyone know about her whereabouts and her health.

The National Press Club, adding its voice to other journalism organizations, such as Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, is calling on the government to let her go.

"Dorothy Parvaz has done nothing other than what the best journalists have done for generations: Go to where the big story is and report on it," said Club President Mark Hamrick, a broadcast reporter for the Associated Press, the world's largest newsgathering agency. "We decry the efforts of some governments to go after journalists trying to do their jobs fairly and accurately. I guess they really believe that the pen actually is mightier than the sword."

A Facebook page has been set up at http://www.facebook.com/#%21/FreeDorothy and more than 10,000 people have already clicked "Like."

The National Press Club, based in Washington, D.C., is the world's leading professional organization for journalists.