Basil Al-Sayed, a 24-year-old citizen journalist based in the western city of Homs, was shot in the head by the security forces while filming the latest bloodbath yesterday in the Homs district of Bab Amr and died while being taken to hospital.
Sources said Al-Sayed had been filming street protests and their dispersal by the security forces ever since the start of the uprising in Syria in March. He was one of the many Syrians who have taking considerable risks to cover the government’s use of violence against demonstrators. Using a Samsung camera, he managed to film the security forces firing on protesters. Link to his latest video.
Al-Sayed is the second amateur journalist to be killed in Syria since the start of the uprising. The first was the photographer and video cameraman Ferzat Jarban, who was killed in Homs on 20 November. Citizen journalists have been playing a crucial role in providing information about developments in Syria as foreign journalists are banned from visiting the country.
Reporters Without Borders roundly condemns Al-Sayed’s targeted killing and calls on the Arab League observers currently in Syria to investigate his death.
Reporters Without Borders published a report on 1 December, entitled “Upheaval in the Arab world: Media as key witnesses and political pawns” which analyses the methods used by the authorities to prevent the flow of information in six countries where there have been popular uprisings, from 17 December 2010 to mid-November this year. It includes a section on Syria.