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Citizen journalist killed; reporters still trapped in Homs

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 26 February 2012 - ANHRI denounces the ongoing targeting of reporters and media professionals by Bashar al-Assad's regime, ignoring calls by the international community and rights organizations. The media activist and photographer Anas al-Tarsha, student in the Faculty of Business Administration, died on 24 February 2012 of a mortar shell while in the al-Karabeed district of Homs city, which has been under bombardment for about a month.

Al-Tarsha is a prominent media activist in the city of Homs who headed the Media Center of Baba Amr District. He played an important role in reporting the violations of al-Assad's regime through live broadcasting of protests and the violence and brutality of the authorities.

Following the killing of the American reporter Marie Colvin, correspondent for the Sunday Times, and the French photojournalist Rémi Ochlik, 28, due to a shelling attack, some foreign reporters in Baba Amr have broadcast videos of distress, such as the French reporter Edith Bouvier, correspondent of Le Figaro newspaper, who has broken her leg and needs surgery, and the British reporter Paul Conroy who has a leg injury and called on the government to help him.

"The consistent killing of reporters and media professionals and shelling of their locations illustrates a targeted strategy on the part of the security services, in an attempt to blackout the crimes committed against Syrian civilians. These crimes reveal the lies of al-Assad's government, which alleges from time to time that they have no information on the presence of reporters in the first place. Meanwhile, it neglects the calls and the distress of human rights organizations that demand the protection of reporters," said ANHRI.

"We hold Bashar al-Assad and the officials in his regime fully responsible for the killing and targeting of reporters, which will be added to the list of crimes this dictator has committed and who will consequently be brought to trial before international courts, along with his regime officials, on charges of committing crimes against humanity," added ANHRI.
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  • Authorities urged to allow aid, evacuation for wounded, dead

    Media reports suggest that Paul Conroy, Edith Bouvier, and William Daniels are in need of proper medical care, and that the families and friends of Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik have been prevented from receiving the bodies.

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