The families of Spanish journalists Javier Espinosa Robles and Ricardo García Vilanova revealed at news conferences in Beirut and Madrid that the jihadi group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) kidnapped Espinosa and García in Syria’s northern province of Raqqah on 16 September. The EU has called for their immediate release.

Vladimir Putin has decided to close by decree the state news agency RIA Novosti without previous notice to their workers and replace it by a news agency called Rossiya Segodnya focused on “coverage abroad of Russian state policy and public life”. RIA Novosti says the move is “the latest in a series of shifts in Russia’s news landscape, which appear to point toward a tightening of state control in the already heavily regulated media sector”.

Four journalists have been assassinated in Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Ninewa Province, since early October 2013. A local journalist told Human Rights Watch that security forces have a list of 44 journalists that armed groups in the area have targeted for assassinations. At the same time, Iraqi prosecutors have stepped up criminal prosecutions of journalists for defamation and have increased other harassment of journalists.

Human Rights Watch asked for the immediately release of a detained male journalist who expressed support for an end to the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia. Officials should also stop harassing and trying to intimidate activists and women who defied the ban by driving on October 26, 2013.

Five years blogging from this spot! Since my first post about the US presidential campaign, the first one for Obama, to this day, hundreds of stories have found a place in this blog. Comments, links, selected news about topics I considered interesting and I hope my readers and followers too.

Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about Marc Marginedas, a Spanish journalist who was kidnapped by Jihadi fighters near the west-central city of Hama on 4 September, his newspaper, the Barcelona-based El Periódico, revealed.

Egypt’s interim president called in his meeting with journalists on Wednesday for “a media code of ethics that guarantees press freedom and professionalism” and said he aspires for “press that puts national interest on top.”