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Cameraman murdered in Syria while covering clashes

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the murder of journalist Omar Abdel Qader in eastern Syria last Saturday, 8 March.

According to media reports, Qader, a cameraman for Beirut-based satellite television channel Al-Mayadeen, was shot by a sniper while covering clashes between regime forces and rebels in the province of Deir Ezzor.

"We express our sadness following the death of the journalist, Omar Abdel Qader," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "We call on the Syrian government to carry out a thorough investigation into the incident and to ensure the perpetrator of this disgraceful act faces the full and swift weight of justice."

The situation in Syria continues to be extremely volatile. According to IFJ statistics, it topped the list of the world's most dangerous countries for media in 2013, with 15 journalists murdered there last year.

The IFJ has reiterated its call for media freedom to be upheld in the country, while also urging media organisations and journalists themselves to take every precaution to protect their safety.

"We call on all factions involved in the Syrian conflict to respect the rights and freedoms of journalists and to allow them to work without fear of violence," added Boumelha. "And we urge media owners to ensure the safety of their journalists is prioritised at all times, while also advising journalists to take every step required to ensure their safety. No story is worth the loss of a life."

What other IFEX members are saying
  • Two journalists killed in two days in Syria

    "The deaths of Omar Abdul Qader and Ali Mostafa are a tragic reminder that Syria remains the most dangerous country in the world," said CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Sherif Mansour. "Even as players in the conflict change their positions, and the balance of power shifts, one thing remains constant: Journalists face a myriad of dangers in Syria."

  • ANHRI condemns the murder of two journalists on the job

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