Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it was “saddened” by the news of the death of Syrian citizen-cameraman Khaled Alessa in a Turkish hospital from injuries sustained in a bomb attack in Aleppo. RSF also condemned the execution of five Syrian citizen-journalists in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor.
Alessa, 25, died in a hospital in the Turkish city of Antakya on the evening of Friday 24 June from injuries sustained on the night of Thursday16 June in a homemade bomb targeting the building where he lived in the Aleppo district of Alsha’ar with fellow journalist Hadi Abdullah.
The gruesome execution in Deir Ezzor of five citizen-journalists accused of criticizing ISIS in their reporting or for working for news media were shown in a video named: “Inspiration of Satan” which was released on 26 June by the extremist group.
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and firmly condemn all threats and attacks against journalists, both professional and non-professional, by the various parties to the conflict in Syria,” said Alexandra Alkhazen, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk, yesterday.
“These journalists take enormous risks just to do their work. Not only are all parties to the conflict responsible for abuses against journalists but it is also crucial for the authorities in receiving countries to protect journalists fleeing from the war’s horrors,” Alkhazen added.
Mourning Alessa, the Syrian Coalition earlier said: “The struggle for freedom will continue no matter what it takes. Those criminals whose hands are stained with the blood of the Syrian people will one day be held to account.”
Last year, RSF asked the UN Security Council to refer crimes against journalists in Iraq and Syria to the International Criminal Court.
Syria is ranked 177th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Al Arabiya)