Dorothy Parvaz is free!

Posted on by sbhatt

UPDATE (May 20): Dorothy arrived in B.C. yesterday. Here’s a photo captured by the CBC of her hugging her family as she arrived at the airport. In an interview broadcast by Al Jazeera and reported on by The Guardian, Dorothy talks about harsh conditions in the Syrian jail where she was held for three days — in marked contrast to her detention in Iran.

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Dorothy Parvaz, the Al Jazeera journalist who disappeared on April 29, has been freed. She’s in Doha, Qatar, and plans to return home to British Columbia later this week.

Check out the stories posted by Seattle Times and Seattle P-I.

Thanks to all of you who Liked the Free Dorothy page on Facebook, contacted your elected leaders and the embassies, and showed your support in numerous other ways.

For those who have been following this story from the beginning, it’s taken some twists.

If there’s one thing I’ve observed from this episode, it’s this: Journalists will move heaven and earth when their colleagues are in danger and when the principles of press freedom we hold dear are at stake.

Within hours of the news of Dorothy’s disappearance, journalists in Seattle sprang into action. Campaigns on Twitter and Facebook launched. AAJA called for Dorothy’s release on May 3. At that time, Syria was believed to be holding Dorothy since her disappearance in Damascus on April 29.

Journalism colleagues in Seattle, Vancouver, Boston, Doha, D.C. and elsewhere met in coffeeshops, newsrooms and cyberspace to talk about Dorothy and what her disappearance meant to them. Later, we learned that Syria deported Dorothy to Iran on May 1. The Free Dorothy campaign had to switch gears and focus on Iran.

And today, 19 days since she disappeared, Dorothy is back in contact with her family and free! We look forward to seeing her again in Seattle some day soon and hearing her story.

About sbhatt

Sanjay Bhatt jumped into journalism in 1996, landing his first job at The Times Leader, a daily in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He juggled covering 12 school districts and loved turning out enterprising, investigative pieces. Within a year, he got hired by The Palm Beach Post of West Palm Beach, Fla., where he spent the next six years building a reputation as a top health reporter. The biggest story he covered there was the 2001 anthrax investigation. In 2003, he joined The Seattle Times, where he has examined public schools, neighborhood issues, the economic crisis and local government. He enjoys producing mini-documentaries, trying new ideas online and learning new technologies. View all posts by sbhatt →
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