Reporters Without Borders calls on the Turkish government to do everything possible to identify those responsible for murdering Syrian citizen-journalist Ibrahim Abd al-Qader in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa, where he had lived as a refugee for the past year.
A contributor to the “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” (RBSS) information network and the Ayn al-Watan website, the 20-year-old Abd al-Qader was found beheaded today at the home of a friend, Fares Hammadi, who had also been decapitated.
RBSS said it thought Islamic State was responsible for the double murder but no claim has so far been posted online. The Turkish media said seven suspects have been arrested
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to Ibrahim Abd al-Qader’s family and colleagues,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.
“We urge the Turkish authorities to do whatever is needed to bring his murderers to justice and to closely investigate the possibility that he was killed in connection with his reporting. The authorities must protect journalists who have sought refuge in Turkey.”
The RBSS network was created in April 2014 to document Islamic State’s atrocities in Raqqa, a city in northern Syria that the jihadi group has controlled since the start of 2014.
After quickly establishing itself as one of the most reliable sources of information about what is happening in Raqqa, RBSS this year received an International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Its contributors are under permanent threat from IS, which has declared them to be “enemies of God.”