Reporters Without Borders is appalled and saddened by Iraqi freelance cameraman Yasser Faysal Al-Joumaili’s abduction and murder yesterday in northern Syria by members of the Jihadi group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
“Joumaili is the first foreign journalist to be murdered by an armed opposition group in northern Syria’s so-called ‘liberated’ areas,” Reporters Without Borders said.”
“His death underscores the importance of a concerted effort by the international community, by Syrian and international media freedom organizations and by all news providers to combat those who want to gag the media and silence those who work for them.”
Reporters Without Borders is a partner in the “Free Press for Syria” campaign that was launched on 2 December to denounce a “deliberate strategy [by ISIS] to suppress media freedom and impose new generalized censorship on the Syrian people.”
According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, Joumaili had been in northern Syria for the past ten days doing a report for a Spanish news outlet. Several sources said he was kidnapped yesterday by ISIS members near Idlib and then killed execution-style. The exact circumstances of his death are not yet known.
An experienced cameraman, Joumaili often worked for Al-Jazeera International and Reuters. Aged 35, he was from the Iraqi city of Fallujah and had three children.
He is the twenty-seventh professional journalist and eighth foreign journalist to be killed in Syria since the start of the conflict in March 2011. At least 91 Syrian citizen-journalists have also been killed in connection with the provision of news and information.
As Reporters Without Borders said in the report “Journalism in Syria, impossible job,” published on 6 November, Syria is the world’s most dangerous country for journalists and ISIS now poses the biggest threat to both Syrian and foreign news providers there. The group has been added to the Reporters Without Borders list of “predators of freedom of information.”