Reporters Without Borders

Al-Ikhbariya cameraman killed after Black September for citizen journalists

Al-Ikhbariya cameraman killed after Black September for citizen journalists

Published on Wednesday 10 October 2012.
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News providers of all kinds – both pro-government and pro-opposition, and both professional and citizen journalists – continue to be the targets of deadly violence in Syria.

"We strongly condemn the continuing slaughter of journalists, who are being deliberately targeted, and we again call on the authorities and opposition forces to protect them," Reporters Without Borders said. "For freedom of information’s sake, neither professional nor citizen journalists should ever be targeted."

The latest victim is Mohamed Al-Ashram, a cameraman with the pro-government TV station Al-Ikhbariya, who was killed by a sniper in the eastern city of Deir El-Zor today. He was shot twice – in the leg and (fatally) in chest – while filming a clash in the district of Al-Mouadafines.

His death brings the number of professional journalists killed since the start of the uprising to 15, six of whom were Syrian journalists working for government or pro-government media and five were foreign journalists.

Citizen networks are meanwhile being badly hit because of the major role they play in distributing news content. September was the deadliest month so far for citizen journalists who provide the international community with information about the regime’s violent crackdown on its opponents. No region has been spared.

The citizen journalist Mohamed Fayyad Al-Askar was killed during a regular army operation in the Al-Kousour district of Deir El-Zor on 28 September. A reporter for local radio Al Hourra and a member of the opposition Local Coordinating Committees (LCCs), he died after being stabbed several times in an ambush near his home.

The citizen journalist Yusuf Al-Aqraa was shot dead in the district of Soltaniya on 27 September while covering shooting between the regular army and the Al-Farouk Battalion, which is part of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Abdelaziz Ragheb Al-Sheikh (also known as Abu Omar Al-Diri), the Sham News Network’s local correspondent, was killed during the bombardment of a civilian administration building in Deir El-Zor on 26 September.

The journalist Yusuf Ahmed Deeb was killed during a Syrian airforce strike on the newspaper Liwaa Al-Fatih’s printing press in the northwestern city of Aleppo on 16 September.

Freelance journalist Tamer Al-Awam was killed by shots fired by regular army soldiers while covering clashes between them and the FSA in the Aarbeen district of in Aleppo on 9 September. After living in Germany for many years, he had returned to Syria to cover the uprising and often provided information to international media, especially German media.

Muhammad Badee Kasem, one of the founder’s of Deir El-Zor’s media centre, was killed while covering a clash between the FSA and the regular army near the city’s central post office on 4 September.

Reporters Without Borders has also learned that Sham News Network activist Fares Mohamed was arrested by airforce intelligence personnel about 10 days ago in Homs. He had played a key role in collecting information and disseminating video footage in the Homs neighbourhood of Deir Baalba.

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