Two foreign journalists have been killed in Homs, activists say, as shelling of a district of the Syrian city continued amid warnings of an escalating humanitarian crisis.
Omar Shakir, an activist in the city, told Al Jazeera that the deaths of Marie Colvin, a US reporter working for the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper, and French photographer Remi Ochlik occurred as a building used by activists as a media centre was shelled on Wednesday.
Courageous reporting from inside Syria by Al Jazeera’s Jane Ferguson.
The Syrian government has been blamed by opposition groups for imprisoning tens of thousands of protesters calling for reform since the uprising began in March 2011.
Rights groups beleive many of the prisoners have been tortured, some until death. Outside the prisons, the government has continued its military crackdowns protests, killing thousands of people across the country.
In the third part of a series of exclusive reports, Jane Ferguson goes inside Homs, one of the main targets of President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces.
For Syrians it’s an exhilarating experience simply to express honest political opinions out loud in a public place. For decades anti-regime gripes have been expressed in private, in whispers. Many were frightened to speak even in the home, lest the children repeat what they’d heard at school. But now people are screaming and singing against the regime every morning, afternoon and night. The sense of solidarity amongst the revolutionaries – breaking the fear barrier together, facing possible torture and death together – is enormous. These two films demonstrate the sometimes carnivalesque quality of the revolution as well as the Syrian people’s musicality. In the first, filmed in Da’el in the Hawran, a romantic tune is turned into an anti-Asad anthem. In the second, filmed in the Baba Amro neighbourhood of Homs, the authorities cut electricity to a protesting area; the protestors illumine their mobile phone screens and keep on going. Both films should be watched with the volume on maximum.
Samar Yazbeck, Ibrahim Qashoush, Khaled Khalifa,Rasha Omran, Ali Farzat, Mai Skaf, Samih Shqair – there’s an impressive list of Syrian writers, musicians, songwriters, and artists who have bravely and unambiguously supported the people’s aspirations for dignity. And now the actress Fadwa Sulaiman. Here she is in besieged Homs leading chants of ‘no Salafis, no Brotherhood, the Syrians want freedom’ and ‘One, One, the Syrian People are One.’ Here she is on Jazeera (Arabic) interviewed via skype. And, below, here she is announcing her hunger strike until the prisoners are released and the siege of the besieged cities is lifted. Translation of her words follows after the page break.