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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Threatening journalists threatens free press, begs truth telling, accountability

Journalists killed
noted March 2012
Syrian Center for
Political and Strategic Studies

Homegrown or foreign-made war madness must be exposed, instigators and perpetrators brought to justice

Press TV this week interviewed political commentator Kamel Wazni on the September 26 killing of journalist Maya Naser (var. Nasser)
Editing by Carolyn Bennett

Journalist 25 dies in Syria

Two Press TV journalists yesterday were covering twin bomb explosions that had targeted a military command building in Syria’s capital, Damascus. Four Syrian security forces had died.
Maya Naser (Nasser)

Iranian English-language news network correspondent Maya Naser died from a sniper’s fire.  Press TV and Al-Alam Damascus Bureau Chief Hosein Mortada, a Lebanese national, was wounded by a shot in the back.

Wazni calls for accountability for “War madness”

Kamel Wazni said, “The Qataris, the Saudis, Turkey, and the United States should look at what they have done to Syria and what they have done to the stability of Syria”; and the world should be listening and watching and should hold those people accountable for the madness.
“The world should listen carefully and should condemn what has been taking place in Syria: against [this journalist] and the mass killing that is being pushed by fanatics, al-Qaeda, and countries who are shipping money and terrorists into Syria. This madness has to stop,” Wazni said. But it will not stop as long as there are censors and silence.

Silence seems consent

Italian journalist
Giuliana Sgrena
"Friendly" fired in
U.S./Iraq war
As has happened so many times in the Middle East, the world is silenced in having been denied “the truth about the assassination of this journalist, the explosion of two cars that killed innocent people on the street of Damascus ─ this inhumane act by terrorist organizations trying to destroy the unity and the entity of Syria,” Wazni said.

“We have heard a lot of speeches at the UN but we have not heard the truth that is taking place on the ground.”

Claiming to be free press advocates complicit in blocking exercise of an independent and alternative press 

What is happening today “when it comes to Syria and to certain organizations [is that] a lot of people we witness do not want to hear the voice of Press TV,” Kamel Wazni says. “They do not want to hear the voice of an alternative network because it presents a different dimension. Sometimes it contradicts what they believe ─ sometimes because it is telling the truth that does not go down well with Western media.…

Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya  received death threats
was then
murdered in Russia
“Civil rights organizations and international organizations that have been concerned with the freedom of expression, with the freedom of journalism should actually show this case in the light it deserves,” Kamel Wazni said; and the case should be pursued to the fullest extent to ensure that every practicing journalist everywhere is protected.

Killing the young particularly robs potential for progress toward press freedom. Before his death, Maya Nasser (var. Naser) “had received death threats from ‘rebels,’” says the Wikipedia account.

He was 33 years old (July 30, 1979 –September 26, 2012), a Syrian journalist and reporter who worked for Press TV, an Iranian English-language broadcasting service. Nasser reported from the ground in Syria and was best known for “his reports from Aleppo.”

Nasser also reported from the United States, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Bahrain. His death brings the number of journalists killed in the current Syrian conflict to twenty-five.

Clarity breaks silence, demands accountability
Freedom to
practice journalism
without fear or favor
Justice demanded
from Africa
at 68 journalists killed

The case of Iranian English-language news network correspondent Maya Naser must be “pursued to the end,” Wazni said.

This must be done not only “to find the people who shot this brave journalist” and that the world sees this death not to have been in vain; but that the world sees clearly ─ and demands justice and accountability for ─ these explosions that rocked a people and slaughtered innocents that morning in Damascus.

Sources and notes

“‘Press TV reporter’s assassin must be brought to justice,’” (Press TV interview with Interview with political commentator Kamel Wazni, September 27, 2012,

Maya Naser (var. Nasser): 1979-2012

Nationality: Syrian; Alma mater: Kaplan University; Employer: Press TV; Known for:  
Reports from Aleppo and rest of Syria during the Syrian civil war; Religion: Christian
September 26, 2012 ─ Nasser was covering large explosions at the Syrian army’s headquarters in Umayyad Square when he was shot through the neck and killed by a rebel sniper. Nasser was shot through the neck and was killed. Hussein Murtada, Press TV’s Damascus bureau chief and head of the Arabic-language al-Alam TV network, was wounded. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Naser

Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena kidnapped then freed (U.S./Iraq war, 2005)
Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya murdered (Russia, 2006). Photograph: Jens Schlueter/AFP/Getty Images


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