Syrian man jailed in Turkey for murdering Assad critic and her journalist daughter
A Turkish court on March 13 handed down two life sentences to a Syrian man who murdered a Syrian opposition activist and her Syrian-American journalist daughter in Istanbul in 2017.
The bodies of Orouba Barakat and her daughter Halla were found in September in their apartment on Istanbul’s Asian side.
Barakat, a prominent political opponent of the Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, had been investigating reports of torture in prisons run by the Syrian government, Turkish media said at the time.
Her daughter, who was born in the U.S., was an editor at Orient Net, a pro-Syrian opposition website, and had also worked as a freelancer for the U.S. TV network ABC.
Days after the killings, Turkish police detained a distant relative of the women, Ahmet Barakat, in the city of Bursa. The motive for the murders remains unknown, the media have reported.
Police identified Ahmet Barakat by security footage and detained him after a three-day operation.
Orient Net described Halla Barakat as an editor and investigator, and her mother as a prominent opponent of Assad.
The U.S. state department said last year it was deeply saddened by their deaths and called Orouba’s work “courageous.”