The following report is from the NY Times. It skips over the main issue and we on 4international place it as the main issue…did they pay?
This is typical, just typical. the El Mundo paper part of the Spanish Establishment is silent on whether money was paid to the ISIS Jihadist terrorists
Journalists Held by Militants in Syria Reunite With Family
The journalists, Javier Espinosa, the longtime Middle East correspondent for El Mundo, and the photojournalist Ricardo García Vilanova, had been trying to cross into Turkey in September after a two-week reporting trip when they were kidnapped by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Kidnapping by insurgent and criminal groups has become so pervasive in northern Syria during the three-year war with the government of President Bashar al-Assad that many news organizations have stopped sending journalists there and aid groups have struggled to carry out their work.
More than 20 Syrian journalists and activists who work as news gatherers, as well as a dozen foreign journalists, are missing or held by insurgent groups, according to Reporters Without Borders, which calls Syria the most dangerous country for journalists. It says about 40 Syrian journalists, both professionals and “citizen journalists,” are held by the Syrian government.
Mr. Espinosa told reporters during a visit to El Mundo on Sunday that he could not discuss the circumstances of the pair’s captivity or their release, but he did not elaborate. On Sunday, the newspaper’s publisher, Casimiro García-Abadillo, thanked the Spanish government for helping to free the men. It was unclear if the men had escaped or if they had been freed through negotiations or because ransom had been paid.
(That was and is the main issue in this story…was ransom paid? Of course we on 4international sympathise with the journalists but why hide if there was a ransom paid?)
“Pure happiness” was the reaction of Mr. Espinosa’s partner, Monica García Prieto, a fellow journalist who shared it on Twitter. They have two young children.
On Saturday, a receptionist at El Mundo was shocked and then overjoyed, the newspaper reported, when the newsroom phone rang and Mr. Espinosa declared that he and his colleague were safe.
“Write down this number and call me back,” he said. “Tell Monica and our parents.”
Across Syria, efforts are underway, through mediators, to catalog, find and perhaps exchange captives, but so far, there have been no mass releases. With insurgent groups fragmented and government security agencies operating in secret and often without coordination, would-be mediators say, it is often difficult to find out who is holding a captive, let alone negotiate for reléase.