Syrian state TV reported on 22 December that one of its cameramen, Haydar Al-Soumoudi, was gunned down by “rebels” outside his home in the west Damascus suburb of Kafar Souseh the previous evening.
“Violence against news providers is becoming more and more widespread and is targeting both pro-government and pro-opposition journalists and citizen-journalists,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We firmly condemn this latest murder and the increasingly heavy toll that coverage of this war is taking on journalists.
“While we are not yet able to take a position on who was responsible for Al-Soumoudi’s death, we call on all those involved in this conflict to respect the work and physical integrity of all journalists.”
According to the government news agency Sana, gunmen were waiting outside Al-Soumoudi’s home and shot him several times when he appeared. Born in Damascus in 1967, he worked for the state-owned daily Al-Thaoura before joining the state TV broadcaster in 1998.
His death brings to 18 the number of professional journalists killed in connection with their work in Syria in 2012. The annual freedom of information roundup that Reporters Without Borders published last week referred to Syria as a “cemetery for news providers.”