Isil has executed five media activists in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor, warning that anyone who tries to document the group’s atrocities will never be safe from retribution.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based monitoring group, said it had received a video depicting the activists’ deaths, carried out on various charges including “acting against the Islamic State, communicating with outside parties and receiving funds”.
The Observatory reported that the jihadists murdered one of the activists by hand-cuffing him to his explosives-rigged laptop and detonating it. Another was killed while tied to his camera. One of the activists had been providing the Observatory with information about events in the areas of Deir Ezzor ruled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
Isil attempts to keep a tight grip on any news and footage emerging from territories under their control, executing any activists who try to its expose crimes. In the video, the terrorist group warned media activists that they were not safe even outside of Syria, showing the faces of anti-Isil journalists who have been murdered by Isil in southern Turkey.
The group has claimed responsibility for assassinating four Syrian media activists in Turkey.
Mohammed Zahir al-Shergat, a presenter for Halab Today TV, died in April after being shot in the neck in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep. He had received numerous death threats from Isil. Two weeks ago, Isil claimed responsibility for a failed attempt to kill Ahmed Abd al-Qader, who founded the Syrian news site, Eye on the Homeland.
Mr Qader was shot and wounded by two gunmen on a motorbike in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa. It was the second assassination attempt that he has survived: in March, two men ambushed Mr Qader outside his home. In October last year, Mr Qader’s brother, Ibrahim, and his colleague, Fares Hamadi, were found with their throats slit in Sanliurfa.
Naji Jerf, the editor of the independent Syrian monthly Hentah, was shot dead in Gaziantep last December. He had been working on a documentary on the citizen journalist group, Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS).
Members of the group, which has won international praise for publishing information from inside Isil’s stronghold of Raqqa and other areas under the group’s control, are a frequent target of attacks and threats. Several RBSS activists have fled to Europe, but in Sunday’s video Isil threatened to reach them even there.
Jerf’s murder prompted the press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders to urge the Turkish government to “take whatever measures are necessary to guarantee the security of Syrian exile journalists”.
Elsewhere in Deir Ezzor province, air strikes carried out by Russia and the Syrian regime have killed at least 58 people in the Isil-held town of al-Quriyah overnight. At least 31 civilians, including eight children and five women, were among the dead.
source : telegraph.co.uk