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Two citizen journalists killed while filming army shelling

(RSF/IFEX) - 19 June 2012 - Reporters Without Borders condemns the deaths of two citizen journalists, who were killed by government forces in the cities of Homs and Al-Qassir in the past nine days while trying to cover the continuing ruthless crackdown on the Syrian population.

“Their names will be added to the grim list of all those who have fallen with their cameras in their hand,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We
offer our heartfelt condolences to the victims' families and we urge the international community to do what is necessary to ensure that the Annan peace plan leads to a ceasefire without delay.”

Ahmed Hamada, a 26-year-old cameraman, was fatally shot by a sniper in Homs on 16 June while filming on a street in the district of Bab Amr during heavy shelling and while trying to rescue a fatally-injured friend, Abd Al-Hadi Al-Qoumali.

Hamada was always patrolling the city's streets with his camera and had filmed hundreds of videos showing the regular army's shelling, especially its shelling of the old town and the district of Khaldiyeh.

Khaled Al-Bakir, 30, was killed by a shell in Al-Qassir (about 10 km south of Homs), while covering the army's shelling of the town on 10 June. Also known as Abu Sliman, he used to film the army's bombardments and atrocities against the civilian population, as well as the street
demonstrations held every Friday in Homs.

Reporters Without Borders also strongly condemns the targeted shooting of a foreign journalist in the north of the country four days ago.

Ahmed Bahaddou, a Belgian freelance cameraman working for the Associated Press, sustained a gunshot injury on 15 June, 13 days after arriving in Syria with two colleagues. He was flown to London on 17 June and is now being treated in a hospital there.

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