By Massoud A. Derhally
Kuwait-based Syrian businessman offers cash to kidnap Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera reporters
The Committee to Protect Journalists has denounced a Kuwait-based Syrian businessman’s offer to pay about $95,000 to anyone who helps with the kidnapping and arrest of journalists covering the ongoing conflict in Syria.
CPJ said the offer relating to reporters working for the pan-Arab satellite channels Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera was “a deplorable effort to silence news coverage that is critical to the world's understanding of the conflict".
The Syrian businessman made the offer in a live interview with Syrian state television.
Sherif Mansour, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator called on Kuwaiti authorities to “repudiate” the offer “as an irresponsible attempt to choke off coverage of the war".
The two year uprising against the Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad which started two years ago has claimed more than 70,000 lives.
The government in Syria has blamed the violence on Islamist Al Qaeda inspired extremists and a conspiracy backed by foreign governments.
At least 36 journalists have been killed in Syria since the start of the revolution in 2011, making Syria the most dangerous place in the world for journalists in 2012, according to CPJ.