Syrian rebels should try kidnappers: Freed journalist

ROME (AFP) - An Italian reporter freed in Syria last weekend after five months in captivity on Wednesday called on the rebel leadership to bring his kidnappers to justice.

Mr Domenico Quirico, a veteran war correspondent for the La Stampa daily, wrote of his disillusionment with the revolution which he said he had initially supported.

"This is a revolution that has lost its honour," said Mr Quirico, who returned to Italy late on Sunday along with fellow kidnappee, Belgian Pierre Piccinin.

"In order to wash away this stain, those responsible for our kidnapping should be investigated, arrested and punished in exemplary fashion," he said.

"If this does not happen, then the leaders of the revolution who take part in conferences in Rome and Brussels and even have an embassy in Paris will prove they are only blabbers without authority over the armed groups that operate in their country, parasites who have their luxury hotel rooms paid by us," he said.

Mr Quirico said he and Mr Piccini were brutally beaten during their captivity, mainly at the hands of Al-Farouq, a rebel group usually seen as moderate.

Mr Quirico himself was subjected to two mock executions.

The journalist said he and Mr Piccini received better treatment when they were being held by Jabhat al-Nusra, a group seen as close to al-Qaeda.

Mr Quirico also said he suspected members of the Free Syrian Army with whom he crossed the border from Lebanon had betrayed him and allowed the kidnapping.