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Middle East

French reporter Bouvier safe in Lebanon after Homs siege

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2012-03-02

Wounded French reporter Edith Bouvier has arrived in Lebanon from the besieged Syrian city of Homs, her family told FRANCE 24 Thursday. She was accompanied by French photographer William Daniels, who was also trapped in Homs for over a week.

French journalist Edith Bouvier, who was wounded and trapped in the besieged Syrian city of Homs more than a week ago, has arrived in Lebanon, her family told FRANCE 24 late Thursday.

Speaking to FRANCE 24, a Bouvier family member said he had been contacted by French officials Thursday night to confirm that the 31-year-old journalist had arrived in Lebanon and was on her way to a Beirut hospital.

France 24 special report: Syrian refugees

The family member, who did not want his name disclosed, said Bouvier was “fine” and that the family was “happy and relieved”.

Shortly after the Bouvier family’s confirmation, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he had spoken on the phone to Bouvier and that she would be repatriated home on a French government plane. Speaking to reporters in Brussels, where he was attending a European summit, Sarkozy said the flight could happen as soon as Thursday night if doctors agreed.

Bouvier’s journey to Lebanon capped an anxious eight days of intense negotiations and at least one failed attempt to get the injured journalist out of Homs.

A freelance reporter in Syria for the French daily Le Figaro, Bouvier was wounded in an attack on the Baba Amro district of Homs, which killed veteran American reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik.
She was trapped in Homs with French photographer William Daniels. Witnesses told Reuters that Daniel had arrived in Lebanon with Bouvier.
On Wednesday, another journalist who was also in Baba Amro, Spanish journalist Javier Espinosa, arrived in Lebanon. His escape came days after wounded British photographer Paul Conroy braved a perilous journey to make it safely to Lebanon.

Bouvier's femur was shattered during heavy shelling in Baba Amro and she was unable to escape the besieged district with Conroy earlier this week

A plea for help
Concerns over Bouvier’s fate had been mounting over the past few days following a videotaped message showing the journalist pleading for help in getting from Homs to Lebanon.
Lying in bed under a blanket, Bouvier detailed her extensive injuries.
"I have a broken leg. The femur is broken along its length and laterally too. I need to undergo surgery as soon as possible. The doctors here have treated us as well as they can, but they can't perform surgery. So I need a ceasefire and an ambulance or car in good enough shape to get us out," she said.
The international community has been trying to secure a ceasefire in Syria in order to deliver badly needed humanitarian aid to the besieged parts of the country.
The UN has estimated that more than 7,500 people have been killed since the uprising began last year.
In its first statement on Syria in seven months, the UN Security Council on Thursday condemned the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country and called on the Syrian government to grant “immediate and unhindered access” to UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos.
Syrian authorities have not approved Amos’ repeated requests to visit the country.

Photo credit: FRANCE 24



Date created : 2012-03-01


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