The International Press Institute (IPI) was saddened this week to learn of the deaths of four journalists killed while covering violent clashes near Daraa, Syria.
Al Jazeera said yesterday that one of its correspondents, Mahran Al Deeri, died on Wednesday in the city of Sheikh Maskin. According to members of Al Deeri’s family quoted by the network, he died in a collision with another vehicle that occurred after he turned off his vehicle’s headlights to avoid detection by pro-government forces, which had been firing on him.*
Al Jazeera Acting Director General Mostefa Souag mourned the loss, saying in the statement: “Our martyred colleague Mahran Al Deeri has worked with Aljazeera.net for over a year and was known for his courage, bravery and professional coverage of the Syrian revolution in the area of Daraa and its suburbs.”
Souag added: “[Despite the] targeting [of] journalists, we will not be deterred from reporting the truth, which we have been committed to for over 18 years. Throughout our years of coverage, we have lost many colleagues on this mission, but our brave journalists are committed to this, despite the constant dangers and challenges.”
Separately, the opposition television network Orient News said that two of its reporters, Rami Asmi and Yousef El-Dous, and a cameraman, Salem Khalil, were killed on Monday, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported. Orient News said that the men were hit by a guided missile allegedly fired by Syrian government forces while they travelled to report on the situation on the ground following skirmishes in Sheikh Maskin.
“IPI is deeply saddened by the deaths of Mahran Al Deeri, Rami Asmi, Yousef El-Dous and Salem Khalil and we extend our condolences to their families and colleagues,” IPI Deputy Director Barbara Trionfi said today. “Their deaths are yet another reminder of the perilous conditions faced by the brave journalists working to ensure that information regarding the Syrian conflict reaches the outside world.”
*This statement was corrected on Dec. 12, 2014.