The journalist Shukri Ahmed Ratib Abu Burghul died today in a Damascus hospital from the gunshot wound to the head that he received on 30 December on arriving at his home in the Damascus suburb of Darya after hosting his weekly programme on Radio Damascus.
According to reports, gunmen deliberately shot Burghul in the face, beneath the eye. He was rushed to hospital immediately after the shooting. Reporters Without Borders condemns his murder and calls on the Arab League’s observers to go to the scene of the shooting to conduct an investigation.
Born in 1956, Burghul began in 1980 to work for the government newspaper Al-Thawra, where he ended up being deputy director of its censorship department while hosting radio programmes on Radio Damascus.
Burghul’s murder was preceded by the fatal shootings of photographer and video cameraman Ferzat Jarban in western city of Homs on 20 November, and citizen journalist Basil Al-Sayed in Homs on 29 December
Aged 24, Al-Sayed was shot in the head by the security forces while filming the latest bloodbath in the Homs district of Bab Amr and died while being taken to hospital. In press releases the next day, Reporters Without Borders urged the Arab League’s observers to investigate his murder and visit all of the journalists and bloggers currently detained in Damascus and other Syrian cities.
In the absence any concrete response from the Arab League’s observers to these requests, Reporters Without Borders questions the effectiveness of their mission and fears that it is a sham that will just legitimize the Syrian government’s repression.