A Russian journalist has been missing in Syria since last week, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper he was working for, Tajikistan-based Biznes i Politika, said on Monday.
“[Alexander] Rybin left his house in the Syrian city of Latakia last Wednesday and has not been seen since,” Dzhamshed Ulmasov said, quoting Rybin’s friend Anastasia Pichugina.
Pichugina said she and Rybin expected to get Iranian visas in the near future and travel to Tehran from Damascus, Ulmasov said.
“She waited for him for several days. She was unable to get any information on his whereabouts from the police,” he said, adding that Pichugina had left for Damascus and was keeping in close contact with the newspaper.
Ulmasov said he had sent a letter to the Russian Embassy in Tajikistan, asking Russian diplomats to assist in the search for Rybin and in arranging Pichugina’s return to Russia.
An official at the Russian Embassy in Damascus, Dmitry Lebedev, told RIA Novosti no one had contacted the embassy over Rybin’s reported disappearance.
“Based on media reports, we are doing everything possible to clarify what has happened to Rybin,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the Syrian Information Ministry where all foreign correspondents must register said the ministry had no information about Rybin.
“We have never heard of him,” Abeer Ahmed said.