SKeyes condemns killing of Iranian TV reporter in Syria

By The Daily Star

Beirut: The Samir Kassir eyes (SKeyes) center denounced Wednesday the killing of a reporter for Iran’s Pess TV in Syria and the wounding of its Damascus bureau chief, and called for a swift investigation into the incident.

“SKeyes denounces targeting journalists in Syria, whatever their political or professional affiliations,” a statement by the media watchdog said.

The organization stressed the need to avoid viewing media personnel as parties to the conflict, calling on journalists to be extremely cautious while on duty, especially in areas of danger.

It also called for the prosecution of those behind the attacks on journalists and civilians, saying these attacks are tantamount to “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.”

A correspondent for Iran’s English-language Press TV was shot dead in Syria and its Damascus bureau chief was wounded, Press TV reported Wednesday, in an attack the channel blamed on regional powers that support Syrian rebel forces.

Maya Naser, 33, Press TV’s correspondent in Damascus, died after being shot in the neck by a sniper, and Damascus bureau chief Hussein Murtada received a gunshot wound to the back, Press TV said. The two journalists were covering twin bombings Wednesday that targeted one of Syria’s military command buildings in the capital.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent organization dedicated to the defense of press freedom, says that more than 20 foreign and Syrian journalists have been killed in Syria since the revolt against President Bashar Assad’s regime began in March 2011.

The media watchdog organization SKeyes was established in 2007 in honor of journalist Samir Kassir, who was assassinated in 2005.

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