IPI urges Turkey to act on murder of Syrian journalists

IPI urges Turkey to act on murder of Syrian journalists

IPI urges Turkey to act on murder of Syrian journalists

In this Oct. 30, 2012 file photo, then an imam, Syrian journalist Mohammed Zahir al-Sherqat speaks during a festival for children in his hometown of Al-Bab, Syria. AP photo

The Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) called on Turkish government on April 14 to step up efforts to halt the murder of Syrian journalists in the country, to bring those responsible to justice, and to take the necessary measures on the issue.

“The Turkish government’s failure to halt the ongoing murders of Syrian journalists on its soil by Islamic State [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] group supporters must stop,” IPI Director of Advocacy and Communications Steven M. Ellis said.

“The fact that the violent extremists from whom these journalists fled can follow them into Turkey and slaughter them with impunity in broad daylight is shameful. We urge Turkey’s government to bring these killers to justice and to take concrete measures to protect journalists in the face of threats against them.” Ellis added.

Recently, Zahir al Sherqat, an online broadcaster for Aleppo Today, was shot in the neck on April 10 while he was walking on a street in the southeastern province of Gaziantep near the Syrian border. Sherqat died in hospital two days later.

ISIL claimed responsibility for the murder.

Sherqat’s killing marked the fourth such attack targeting Syrian journalists in Turkey claimed by the jihadist group. Last year, two journalists were found with their throats slit while a third was shot dead in the street in Gaziantep.