Uprising in Syria

02.22.12

Marie Colvin, U.S. Journalist, Killed in Syria

Marie Colvin, an acclaimed American reporter, died alongside a French photographer during an assault on the city of Homs. See her final interview, in which she describes Syrian forces’ deadly siege.

Syria Targeted Journalists: Report

Intercepted communication between Syrian army officers reportedly revealed that they had pledged to “kill any journalist who set foot on Syrian soil”—resulting in the death of American journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Rémi Ochlik on Wednesday, Britain’s Telegraph reported. Witnesses said Colvin and Ochlik were killed by a rocket-propelled grenade as they tried to exit a house used by foreign journalists. In intelligence intercepted by Lebanon, Syrian army officers allegedly said they would target the journalists and then claim they had been killed in crossfire with “terrorist groups.” Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said London would “redouble their efforts” to end “Assad’s campaign of terror,” while French President Nicolas Sarkozy said “enough is enough. This regime must go.” London summoned their ambassador to Damascus in protest of killing of Colvin, who worked was working as a correspondent for the Sunday Times.

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Colvin Had Planned to Leave Syria

The mother of one of the journalists slain in Syria said her daughter had been planning to leave the country but stayed an extra day to finish reporting a story “she felt was very important.” Rosemarie Colvin told Newsday that her daughter, Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin was “totally dedicated to getting the story straight and getting it out.” Colvin and French photographer Rémi Ochlik were killed by shelling in Homs on Wednesday while two other journalists were wounded when rockets hit the house they were staying in. Very few foreign journalists have been allowed in Syria, and the Syrian government on Wednesday ordered that all journalists who have “entered Syria illegally” to report to the nearest immigration center. Colvin and Ochlik had reportedly been smuggled into Syria.

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A Fearless Reporter
by Christopher Dickey

Marie Colvin, who was killed by Syrian shelling in Homs today, put her life at risk to report on atrocities from Sri Lanka to Baghdad. Her friend Christopher Dickey remembers her tenacity.

Marie Colvin, who was killed by Syrian shelling in Homs today, put her life at risk to report on atrocities from Sri Lanka to Baghdad. Her friend Christopher Dickey remembers her tenacity.

“I think the reports of my survival may be exaggerated. [I am] in Baba Amr,” she wrote. That neighborhood of Homs has become the focal point of resistance to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, and in retribution its people and their lightly armed defenders have been subjected to more than two weeks of relentless pounding by government artillery. “Sickening,” wrote Marie. “[I] cannot understand how the world can stand by and I should be hardened by now. Watched a baby die today. Shrapnel, doctors could do nothing. His little tummy just heaved and heaved until he stopped. Feeling helpless. As well as cold! Will keep trying to get out the information.”

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The Story Marie Died To Tell
by Peter Bouckaert

Journalist Marie Colvin was killed in Syria on Wednesday, reporting the horrors from Homs. Human Rights Watch director Peter Bouckaert recalls his friend’s extraordinary personality and courage—and the story Marie paid with her life to tell.

Marie Colvin, the celebrated American war reporter who died in Homs on Wednesday, together with the young French photographer Rémi Ochlik, looked every bit the part of a war reporter.

She took to wearing a black patch over the eye she lost when shot in the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2001, and always seemed to have a notepad and a pen in her hand. She was inevitably in the midst of war’s chaos before the rest of us got there, proudly filing, as she did on Tuesday, as “the only British newspaper journalist” at the scene. She was a legend to all of us who cover conflict, and universally beloved for her inspiring courage and deep commitment to the work of reporting.

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Marie Colvin, My Courageous Friend
by T.D. Allman

The American journalist killed in Syria on Wednesday was a courageous warrior on the side of the oppressed, writes her colleague T.D. Allman.

Bangkok
Feb. 22, 2012

What caused me to turn on the TV in late afternoon in Bangkok, something I have never done before?

There was the news from Homs about Marie, my friend since 1988. We met at the Palestine National Congress in Algiers that year. Later in Baghdad four of us would play poker every night. The other three each had a private bottle of whiskey. I’d drink wine. Sometimes we’d drink second and third bottles, and then at dawn the next morning be heading to ... Once we had an actual appointment in Samara.

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Reactions to Colvin’s Death

British Prime Minister David Cameron and News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch (who owns The Sunday Times of London) both paid their respects to Colvin. Cameron did so during his question-and-answer session with Parliament.

“This is a desperately sad reminder of the risks that journalists take to inform the world of what is happening and the dreadful events in Syria, and our thoughts should be with her family and with her friends,” Cameron told Parliament, calling Colvin “talented and respected.”

Murdoch told staff members in an email that he was upset by the loss and that the company was doing all it could to recover Colvin’s body, which was reportedly still beneath rubble.

“It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Marie Colvin, one of the most outstanding foreign correspondents of her generation, who was killed in Homs in Syria today while reporting for The Sunday Times,” Murdoch wrote in the email.

“She was a victim of a shell attack by the Syrian army on a building that had been turned into an impromptu press centre by the rebels … Our photographer, Paul Conroy, was with her and is believed to have been injured. We are doing all we can in the face of shelling and sniper fire to get him to safety and to recover Marie's body.”

The Sunday Times’s editor John Witherow also shared condolences, saying he was in “great shock” at Colvin’s passing.

“Marie was an extraordinary figure in the life of The Sunday Times, driven by a passion to cover wars in the belief that what she did mattered,” he wrote in a statement.

“But she was much more than a war reporter. She was a woman with a tremendous joie de vivre, full of humor and mischief and surrounded by a large circle of friends, all of whom feared the consequences of her bravery.”

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