State TV cameraman gunned down in Damascus – REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS
Syrian state TV reported on 22 December that one of its cameramen, Haydar Al-Sumudi, was gunned down by “rebels” outside his home in the west Damascus suburb of Kafar Souseh the previous evening.
“Violence against news providers is becoming more and more widespread and is targeting both pro-government and pro-opposition journalists and citizen-journalists,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We firmly condemn this latest murder and the increasingly heavy toll that coverage of this war is taking on journalists.
“While we are not yet able to take a position on who was responsible for Al-Sumudi’s death, we call on all those involved in this conflict to respect the work and physical integrity of all journalists.”
According to the government news agency Sana, gunmen were waiting outside Saudi’s home and shot him several times when he appeared. Born in Damascus in 1967, he worked for the state-owned daily Al-Thura before joining the state TV broadcaster in 1998.
His death brings to 18 the number of professional journalists killed in connection with their work in Syria in 2012. The annual freedom of information roundup that Reporters Without Borders published last week referred to Syria as a “cemetery for news providers.”
A citizen-journalist known as Sami Waeel received serious head injuries from rocket shrapnel during a Syrian air force attack on Aleppo on 24 December. At the time of the attack, he had been filming rubble in the city’s Boustane Al-Qassr district, which has been repeatedly shelled. He worked with local media and with various humanitarian and relief organizations including “Al-Sidq”.
Finally, the Syrian Journalistic Association reports that citizen-journalist Mohamed Qwaider was fatally shot while covering a violent clash between the regular army and the rebel Free Syrian Army in Arbeen, a town to the southwest of Damascus), on 6 December. Qwaider was one of Arbeen’s first citizen-journalists and reported for its Facebook and Twitter martyrs page.
His death brings to 45 the number of citizen-journalists killed in the course of gathering and disseminating news and information in Syria in 2012.