Two journalists were killed in Syria on Saturday according to reports in the country’s state news agency and an Arab news channel, bringing the number of reporters and citizen journalists who have lost their lives since the beginning of the conflict to 57.
Head of the Internal News Department at the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), Ali Abbas, 37 was killed by a group of armed assailants in his home in Jdeidat Artouz, according to the agency.
Al Arabiya sateliite channel also reported that Bara'a Yusuf al-Bushi, an army defector who worked with the channel and various other international news agencies, was killed in a bomb attack while covering a story in al-Tal, a suburb of Damascus.
UK based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that it has not received any reports of casualties.
“Assassinating the truth.”
Colleagues and relatives of Abbas have accused outside powers of supporting terrorist organisations in Syria, and of repressing the Syrian media from conveying the truth of the situation in the country. They spoke of a “media war” suggesting that Abbas had been killed because of his attempts to tell the truth.
Co-workers from SANA added that his assassination would inspire them to continue to do their work and to try and bring the truth about what is happening in Syria to the outside world.
“All must refrain from targeting media workers”
In the wake of recent attacks on journalists, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has urged all sides involved in the conflict to safeguard journalists and citizen journalists.
"Neither news media, professional journalists nor citizen journalists should be targeted by any of the parties to this conflict.”
"We urge the main components of the opposition, both civilian and military, to condemn these atrocities. We also strongly condemn the publication and broadcasting of messages inciting hatred and violence against the civilian population. The media must not relay propaganda of any kind," RSF said last week.
Following the kidnapping of a crew from the pro-government television station Al-Ikhbariya, the watchdog also mentitoned the UN Resolution which protects journalists and members of the media.
“We note that those involved in news gathering are protected under Resolution 1738 of the United Nations Security Council. All warring parties must refrain from targeting media workers and citizen journalists.”
The conflict in Syria continues to claim the lives of media workers and citizen journalists trying to report on the violence which is erupting throughout their country. The DCMF has been documenting those journalists who have lost their lives, the number of whom now stands at 57.