British Columbia

B.C. journalist missing in Syria

A B.C. journalist working for the Al-Jazeera network is missing in Syria, the news organization says.
North Vancouver Al-Jazeera reporter Dorothy Parvas has been missing since arriving in Syria on Friday, the CBC's Kirk Williams reports 1:56

A B.C. journalist working for the Al-Jazeera network is missing in Syria, the news organization says.

Dorothy Parvaz, of North Vancouver, has not been heard from since Friday, when she disembarked from a flight in Damascus, Syria, and did not check in at her hotel, the network reported Tuesday.

The country has been wracked by battles between authorities and pro-democracy protesters for several weeks.

Parvaz's family is desperate to hear from her.

"We don't know where she is, we don't know who has her," her sister, Sheila Parvaz told CBC News Tuesday. "We just want to know she's safe and we want her to come home."

Parvaz was born in Iran and is travelling on an Iranian passport, which prompted the foreign minister of Iran to ask for more information on Parvaz's fate.

"We demand … the government of Syria look into this case," Ali Akbar Salehi said in an Al-Jazeera report.

Facebook campaign

About 2,000 people have joined a worldwide Facebook campaign for Parvaz's freedom.

Her father, Fred Parvaz, hopes the global response to his daughter's disappearance will protect her.

"I am really relying on them to treat her well, like a human being, just like the person who wants to do her job," Fred Parvaz said.

"I am very proud of her, I love her very much."  

Dorothy Parvaz spent her teenage years in North Vancouver and attended the University of British Columbia. She then studied journalism in Arizona and later worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper before taking the job with Al-Jazeera.

Her fiancé, Todd Barker, said he tried to talk Parvaz out of going to Syria, but could not.

"Nothing I would say would change her mind," Barker said in a telephone interview from Portland, Ore.

With files from the CBC's Kirk Williams