SCM: Syrian Journalist and Cyber Activist Killed in Syria

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression expresses its deepest sorrow for the killing of Syrian journalist and colleague, Shukri Abu Burghol, who died in Muwasat hospital in Damascus at seven AM Monday morning 2/1/2012 after suffering from injuries caused by a bullet in the head he got while sitting in his home in Daryya (Damascus Suburbs) on Friday 12/30/2011.

The 54 year-old journalist Shukri Abu Burghol is married with five children, he’s a member of the Syrian Journalists Union and was among the first batch of graduates of the Media Training Center. He worked at government-owned newspaper Thawra for 31 years at its various divisions. Mr. Mustafa Miqdad, editor manager of Thawra newspaper, praised Abu Burghol’s work and called him a “devoted and tireless journalist,” he also described his character as “generous” and someone who values morals greatly.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression expressed its deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Abu Burghol, and demands the authorities to open an immediate investigation in the circumstances that led to his death.

In another news, sources informed SCM that the Syrian video activist, Sayyed Basil, had died after a head injury on 27/12/2011 he got while filming the events in Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs. 24 year-old Basil is the oldest among his siblings, and was working in an aluminum factory in Homs. He’s known to film the events in Homs with his small Samsung camera to upload videos on social media sites.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression had earlier condemned the killing of video activist Firzat Jarban whose body was found near Al-Ahli hospital in 19/11/2011 where his eyes were gouged out and his body shows signs of torture. Note that Jarban had been detained one day prior to his death by the Syrian air force intelligence in Homs and was in good health at the time. Like Sayye Basil, Jarban is known to film the events in Homs and upload videos on the Internet.

SCM would also like to remind its readers of the killing of internet activist, Suleiman Saleh Abazid, in Daraa on 22/7/2011 after suffering from a head injury. Abazid was the admin of the Facebook page Ahrar Horan (The Free People of Horan). He was the first cyber activist we know of to die in the current events.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression expresses its deepest concerns of the repeated killings of journalists and cyber activists in Syria and demand the Syrian authorities to open an immediate and transparent investigation of Abazid, Jarban, Sayyed and Abu Burlghol’s deaths. SCM emphasizes that it’s the legal and moral responsibilities of the government to protect its citizens as instructed by the Syrian constitution, especially at ensuring the safety of journalists and media workers who’re carrying on their duties to cover current events and practice their constitutional right to free speech.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression