Press freedom

Syrian president Bashar Assad denies targeting and killing war correspondent Marie Colvin

A portrait of Marie Colvin. Uli Seit/The New York Times

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is denying the claims in a lawsuit that he or his government are responsible for killing the intrepid war correspondent Marie Colvin in 2012. Colvin, a veteran reporter renowned for going to the front lines of conflicts, had been reporting from the city of Homs in February of that year, detailing the crackdown of Assad’s regime on the city and its civilians, when she was killed in a mortar blast. Her family, with the help of the Center for Justice and Accountability, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court in the United States claiming that the Syrian government targeted and killed Colvin to silence her reporting. Assad told NBC News in an interview aired on Thursday that “no one has any evidence.”

“Nobody knows if she (was) killed by missile, or which missile, and where did the missile come from, or how,” he said. “When you’re caught in crossfire somewhere, you cannot tell who killed who … these are all allegations.”

He also said Colvin entered the country illegally and worked with terrorists. Colvin’s family said that she was working in a makeshift broadcast studio with French photojournalist Remi Ochlik when officials launched a rocket at the studio, killing both. They claim Assad “hunted down journalists and media activists.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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