NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “It is outrageous that a journalist who went to Syria to do his job, reporting on an unfolding crisis and its devastating impact on its citizens, was kidnapped and has been held now for two years.
This video, in which John has been forced to deliver a message on behalf of ISIS knowing that his life is on the line is yet another disgraceful and cowardly attempt to target and intimidate reporters from carrying out their work.
Its intention is clear, to spread fear and to send a message that journalists – along with other workers – are fair game and mere political pawns to be exploited as their captors see fit.
“The threats facing journalists in the region need to be urgently tackled – we need action internationally to protect journalists covering events in Iraq and Syria, doing a vital job at a critical moment in history for the region.
Around the world journalists show enormous courage, routinely risking their lives to tell the stories of people caught up in conflict.
That’s why we must do all we can to ensure that the targeting of media workers as a weapon of war is internationally condemned and tackled.”