Syrian journalist Muhammed Zahir al Shurgat died yesterday of his wounds after being shot in the head on Sunday by a masked ISIS gunman in southern Turkey, according to media freedom campaigners.
The International and European Federation of Journalists condemned the outrageous killing and demanded that the Turkish authorities investigate the murder and act to ensure the safety of other journalists.
The ISIS-affiliated news agency, Amaq, reported that “a security detachment that belongs to ISIS” shot Zahir al Shurgat, who worked at the Aleppo Today TV channel.
Reports claim an ISIS gunman shot him in the head with a silenced pistol outside his workplace in Gaziantep, located near the border with Syria. He was rushed to hospital in a critical condition but later died of his wounds.
“We are appalled by this outrageous killing in Gaziantep, where our colleague and others had bravely stayed to bring reports of the Syrian conflict to the attention of the world,” said IFJ President, Jim Boumelha. “We send our sincere condolences to his family and friends and call on the Turkish authorities to open an investigation and increase the surveillance in the area in order to guarantee the safety of the journalists on the ground.”
The Turkish city of Gaziantep has been the scene of several recent assassinations, including the murder of Syrian journalist and film-maker Naji Jerf in December 2015. ISIS claimed responsibility but there has been no official report from the Turkish government yet.
The IFJ will shortly deliver a new programme of training for Syrian journalists to respond to the urgent need for improved safety and protection of journalists and media workers in the region.
25 working journalists have died so far in 2016, according to IFJ statistics.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries