Homa Parvaz, an Al Jazeera correspondent of Iranian descent, has been in the custody of Syrian security forces since April 29.
Aftab news agency reports that Parvaz left Qatar for Syria on April 29 to cover the recent unrest. She was detained at the Damascus international airport upon arrival.
Syria has been facing widespread protests in recent weeks, and some unofficial reports say as many as 8,000 people have been arrested since early March. Human rights organizations have reported that, since the beginning of clashes between protesters and security forces, 600 citizens have been killed.
Aftab reports that Parvaz is being denied any outside contact. Al Jazeera has expressed grave concerns regarding Parvaz’s well-being and called on Syria for her immediate release, as did Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Al Jazeera had quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi reacting to news of Parvaz’s arrest, saying: "I hope this report is not true. But if it is, we will urge the Syrian government to attend to the issue."
Parvaz has an Iranian father and an American mother. She is a journalism graduate from British Columbia and Arizona Universities. She has worked with Japanese, U.S. and Canadian news networks, joining the English branch of Al Jazeera last year.