AFP Photojournalist Still Missing In Gaza

Jan 3, 2007

 Agence France-Presse reports that the life of one of their photojournalists, Peruvian photographer Jaime Razuri, 50, who was kidnapped in Gaza City on Monday by unknown gunmen, may be in danger because while in captivity he could be going without the medicines he takes for a heart condition and other medical problems.


Razuri was with an interpreter and a driver and was returning from an assignment when he was snatched at gunpoint outside AFP’s Gaza City office on Monday, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Witnesses say Razuri was pushed into a car by four armed gunmen before the vehicle sped away. He had been in the Palestinian territory for only two weeks.


The manager of AFP’s Gaza City offices, Sakher Abu El-Awn, told Reuters, “We believe his life is at serious risk and we urge his captors to release him immediately.” AFP says that Razuri has more than a decade of experience shooting for them in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East and that he worked in Iraq in 2006.


There is no word of the missing photojournalist’s whereabouts, and no one has come forward in the past 48 hours to claim responsibility for his abduction.


A day after Razuri was kidnapped the French Foreign Ministry called for his release. Jean-Baptiste Mattei said, “Our consulate in Jerusalem is in contact with the Palestinian Authority with a view to obtain information on the whereabouts of the journalist and to secure his release.” Meanwhile, the Palestinian Preventive security forces have suggested that “foreigners” leave the Gaza Strip because of the threat of further abductions.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says Razuri is the 14th journalist to be abducted by gunmen in the Gaza Strip since 2004. Reuters reports that in October, gunmen in Gaza kidnapped and held for several hours a Spanish aid worker and an Associated Press photographer, and in August two journalists from Fox News were held for two weeks by Gaza gunmen before being released.