A Syrian journalist who risked his life documenting abuses committed by the Islamic State group in its self-proclaimed “capital” of Raqqa was murdered by masked group of unknown assailants, his colleagues reported Wednesday.
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently is a collective of independent Syrian journalists formed in April 2014 to expose crimes committed by the so-called Islamic State. On its website, the group details the extremist organization’s draconian punishments—from beheadings to crucifixions—for those who violate its strict perversion of Islamic law. The group has also reported on the impact of airstrikes launched on Raqqa by an ever-expanding list of international powers, including the United States, Russia and France.
Because of its work, several other members of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered have been killed. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, in October 2015 Ibrahim Abd al-Qader was killed by Islamic State militants in Turkey, along with another journalist, Fares Hamadi. Last year, Al-Moutaz Bellah Ibrahim was kidnapped and murdered by the Islamic State.
Ahmed Mohamed al-Mousa is but the latest casualty in the war to expose the reality for hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians who still live in Islamic State-controlled territory. On Wednesday, Raqqa is being Slaughtered said he was murdered by masked gunmen in the city of Idlib. Although the Islamic State group does not rule that city, it has been known to station sleeper cells in regions outside its control.
— الرقة تذبح بصمت (@Raqqa_SL) December 16, 2015
“Just a few weeks ago, nearly 900 journalists, press freedom advocates, and supporters attending CPJ’s International Press Freedom Awards stood together in solidarity with Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. Today we are all standing together again, this time in mourning,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon in a statement released after the latest killing. “We pledge to work tirelessly to seek justice for Ahmed Mohamed al-Mousa and all other murdered journalists in Syria.”
According to Reporters Without Borders, Syria is one of the worst countries to work as a journalist, ranking 176 out of 179 nations profiled. Since March 2011, at least 50 professional journalists, and 141 bloggers and citizen journalists, have been killed.