The Doha Centre for Media Freedom condemns in the strongest possible manner the killing of two foreign journalists and one Syrian blogger this week in Syria. US born Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed on Wednesday in a building used by foreign journalists in the district of Bab Amr in Homs, during continuous and indiscriminate bombardments by the Syrian army. On Tuesday, citizen-journalist Rami al-Sayyed was killed in Homs when a rocket hit a car in which he was travelling
Four other journalists were killed and scores of journalists were injured and detained.in Syria since the beginning of the violence in March 2011. On Tuesday Sunday Times photographers Paul Conroy and William Daniels, and Edith Bouvier, a reporter for Le Figaro, suffered serious injuries in Homs.
Doha Centre for Media Freedom’s director Jan Keulen denounced the “sickening cynicism of the Syrian Minister of Information Adnan Mahmoud”, who rejected on Thursday statements holding Syria responsible for the deaths of journalists. According to the Syrian Ministry of Information the foreign journalists ”sneaked into Syrian territory at their own risk”. “It’s the Syrian government which is to blame for the violence against its citizens and against the journalists who have the courage to monitor the brutality of the regime and to report on it”, according to Keulen.
The Doha Centre for Media Freedom calls on Syria to allow medical access to the wounded in Homs along with evacuation of the injured and dead; journalists and non-journalists. The Syrian authorities have the obligation to give access to media and to protect local and foreign journalists working in their country. The Centre pays tribute to the immense courage of Colvin, Ochlik and al-Sayyed and all local and foreign reporters covering the events in Syria.