Hundreds gathered in Beirut to pay tribute to Serena Shim, a Press TV reporter who died in a car crash near the Turkish-Syrian border. Shim was covering the crisis in the besieged Syrian city of Kobani and had allegedly been accused of ‘spying’ by Turkey.
Live rounds were fired into the air as her body arrived in Burj el-Barajneh cemetery on Wednesday, located in a southern suburb of the Lebanese capital.
Lebanese political and religious leaders were among the attendees who watched as her coffin was interred.
“She raised our heads high; she was really someone that gave us pride and dignity,” Press TV, an Iranian broadcaster, cites Shim’s family as saying.
Shim, a Lebanese-American journalist, was killed on Sunday when the car she was traveling in crashed into a large vehicle in the city of Suruc in Turkey’s Urfa Province. She was reportedly on her way back to her hotel after reporting form the scene.
Family members and Iranian media have speculated about the cause of Shim’s death.
Hamid Reza Emadi, the head of Press TV’s newsroom, said her death was “very suspect”, claiming that“it is likely an outcome of her critical expository reports of the adverse impact of Turkish and Saudi policies on Syrian refugees.”
Emadi said Shim had repeatedly complained of harassment by Turkish security forces in the two days leading up to her death. She further said they had told locals she was spying.
Leading up to her death, Shim reported she had discovered evidence of Turkish convoys bearing the symbols of NGOs crossing the border to bring aid to so-called Islamic State (IS) militants.
Her parents also told Press TV they suspected the Turkish government was involved in the death and would legally pursue the matter.
A Turkish Foreign Ministry official told Reuters on Monday the ministry had no information on the case and other government officials were not available to comment.
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