Reporters Without Borders is saddened to learn that French reporter Gilles Jacquier of the French TV station France 2 was killed today by a shell or rocket while on a government-authorized reporting visit with other journalists in the city of Homs, one of the bastions of anti-government protest in Syria.
A witness said the shell or rocket landed on the group of journalists while they were at the border between the Akrama Al-Jedida and Al-Nuzha neighbourhoods in southern Homs, killing Jacquier on the spot and wounding many other people, including journalists. According to an AFP correspondent, dutch photographer Steven Wassenaar sustained an eye injury,
“Jacquier is the first foreign journalist to be killed in Syria since the start of the uprising on 15 March 2011,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Our thoughts are with his family and colleagues. We call on the authorities to shed all possible light on this tragic event with help from the Arab League’s observers.”
The Syrian information ministry said it was aware of “an incident involving foreign journalists in Homs” but did not have any details.
A roving foreign correspondent for France 2 since 1999, Jacquier had covered fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Israel, and was in Syria to do a report for the France 2 programme “Envoyé Spécial.” He and fellow France 2 correspondent Bertrand Coq received the Albert Londres Prize in 2003 for their coverage of the Second Intifada and the Israeli Defence Forces’ Operation Rampart in April 20002.
A Syrian professional journalist and two Syrian citizen journalists have also been killed since the start of the uprising in Syria.