Five citizen journalists were killed late may over a two-day period in Damascus and Homs, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported quoting activists as saying. "This is another tragic reminder of the role that citizen journalists have played covering the conflict in Syria, including the documentation of horrific violence perpetrated against civilians," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "While the Syrian government's efforts to eliminate witnesses to its actions have failed, the cost to local and international journalists has been exceedingly high." Three of the victims worked for the citizen news organization Shaam News Network (SNN). The Shaam News Network is one of the several groups that aggregates photos and videos taken by citizen journalists in Syria and tries to show them to the world. Since the beginning of the uprising in March last year, the group has largely contributed in showing the world the abuses and barbaric acts committed by the Syrian regime. Their pictures and videos have been used by news organisations around the world. Ammar Mohamed Suhail Zado, the director of Shaam in Homs, Ahmed Adnan al-Ashlaq, a correspondent, and Lawrence Fahmy al-Naimi, the head of live streaming for the network were killed on May 27 whilst they were filming the clashes between the Syrian regular army and the rebels in the capital of Damascus from an apartment located in the Al-Midan neighbourhood, a Shaam News Network representative told CPJ. The Shaam representative told CPJ Syrian intelligence services knew members of the SNN were reporting from this building and purposely targeted it. According to CPJ’s report, the three bodies have yet to be returned to their families. The next day Bassel Al Shahade, a Syrian filmmaker doing a Master of Fine Arts in Film degree at Syracuse University in the state of New-York, and his cameraman Ahmed Abu Ibrahim were killed whilst documenting the bloody uprising in the city of Homs. The 28-year-old had decided to take a leave of absence and go back to Syria to support his family and to cover the crisis in his native country. Al Shahade had received a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to study in America. News reports have suggested that security forces targeted the journalists because they were filming.
Syria: Five citizen journalists killed over two days in government assault, activists say