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Journalist's home destroyed by tanks, family's passports seized

(RSF/IFEX) - 11 April 2012 - Reporters Without Borders is deeply saddened to learn that Ali Shaaban, a cameraman working for the Lebanese TV station Al-Jadeed, was killed yesterday afternoon when the car in which he and two colleagues were travelling came under heavy fire on the border between northern Lebanon and Syria.

“We offer our sincere condolences to Shaaban's family, friends and colleagues and we firmly condemn this shooting, which appears to have been deliberate,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It is unacceptable that journalists should be the target of such violence. Those responsible for this crime must be brought to justice without delay.”

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Reporters Without Borders meanwhile also condemns the Syrian army's destruction of London-based journalist Moussa Al-Omar's home in the northern city of Idleb, a region where clashes with rebels and repressive measures by government forces are on the increase.

In a raid on Omar's family home on 7 April, soldiers seized personal files, computers and the passports of members of his family. Then soldiers drove their tanks into the house, knocking it down.

This was not the first reprisal against Omar, who hosts a programme on UK-based Al-Hiwar TV in which he often interviews Syrian opposition figures. His family home in Damascus was attacked by the security services on 11 August 2011. Such raids are meant to intimidate Syrian journalists based abroad.

Branded as a “conspirator,” Omar is now a marked man for the Assad regime, as are all journalists who continue to cover government violence.

Read the full press release

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