IFJ Condemns Killing of Iranian Reporter in Syria

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the violent incident in which Maya Naser, the correspondent of Iran's English- language cable network, Press TV, was shot dead and his colleague and Damascus bureau chief Hussein Murtada wounded. The two journalists were covering the aftermath of the massive bombs attacks which targeted the Syrian army building in Damascus.

"We condemn the killing of Maya and remind all warring factions in Syria of their international obligations to protect journalists working in conflict areas," said IFJ President, Jim Boumelha. "The risks to journalists' safety while covering wars are often made worse by reckless and deliberate acts of violence, which appears to be the case in this incident."

According to a statement from Press TV, the two journalists came under sniper fire which killed Maya and wounded his colleague Murtada in the back. Maya died of a gunshot in the neck, the statement said.

The channel blamed the Syrian rebels for this attack and accused several countries in the region of arming the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad.

The IFJ says that Maya's death is the latest in the long call of loss and tragedy recording the killings of journalists and media workers during the on-going conflict in Syria. A number of journalists have been killed in deliberate attacks this year, including the killing in January of French war reporter Gilles Jacquier of France 2 in the city of Homs, Sunday Times Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik who also died in the shelling of a makeshift media centre in the same city in February.

"The Syrian conflict has inflicted heavy losses to the journalists' community and, sadly, the death of Maya is unlikely to be the last," added Boumelha. "But those who deliberately targeted these journalists must be under no illusion that they will answer for their actions."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries