National News

Danish photographer freed after 13 months in Syria

By Jan M. Olsen, The Associated Press

COPENHAGEN - A Danish freelance photographer who had been held captive for 13 months in Syria has been released and has been reunited with his family, officials said Friday.

Denmark's Foreign Ministry said Daniel Rye Ottosen, 25, had been held since May 17, 2013, in Syria where he went to photograph the conflict and the civilian population's conditions.

Rye Ottosen was freed Thursday and is in good condition, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ole Egberg Mikkelsen said Friday, but gave no details of where or by whom the photographer was held. He declined to comment on press reports that Rye Ottosen had been detained by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Egberg Mikkelsen declined to say whether any ransom had been paid.

"Generally speaking I can say that as government representatives, we never ever have contacts with abductors or any other criminals," he told The Associated Press.

Rye Ottosen's abduction was known to Danish media, which had refrained from reporting it for security reasons.

"Our experience tells us that if there is any kind of media coverage, it can play a role and can make things more complex," Egberg Mikkelsen added.

In March, Beirut-based Danish freelance television reporter Jeppe Nybroe was freed after he had been abducted a month earlier in Lebanon, near the Syrian border. Danish media also knew about that kidnapping but kept silent until Nybroe was released.

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