Isil kills five who ex­posed its Syria atroc­i­ties

Me­dia ac­tivists ex­e­cuted as ter­ror group warns other re­porters they are not safe wher­ever they are

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Zia Weise in Is­tan­bul

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 show­ing 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 ex­plo­sives­rigged 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 Is­lamic State of Iraq and the Le­vant (Isil).

Isil at­tempts to keep a tight grip on news and footage emerg­ing from ter­ri­to­ries un­der its con­trol, ex­e­cut­ing any ac­tivists who try to ex­pose its crimes. In the video, the ter­ror­ist group warned me­dia ac­tivists that they were not safe even out­side Syria, show­ing the faces of anti-Isil jour­nal­ists who have been mur­dered by the ter­ror­ist group in south­ern Turkey.

The group has claimed re­spon­si­bili- ty 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 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, 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.

Else­where in Deir Ez­zor prov­ince, air strikes by Rus­sia and the Syr­ian regime killed at least 58 peo­ple in the Isil­held town of al-Quriyah. At least 31 civil­ians, in­clud­ing eight chil­dren and five women, were among the dead.

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