Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Journalists Murdered by Syrian Forces

Basil Al-Sayed, a 24-year-old citizen journalist based in the western city of Homs, was shot in the head on 29 December by security forces while filming the latest bloodbath in the Homs district of Bab Amr. He 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.

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.

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 while on his way 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.

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.

For more information:
Reporters Without Borders
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris
rsf (@) rsf.org
Phone: +33 1 44 83 84 84
Fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51

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