Serena Shim, 1984-2014 The Death of a Reporter


Serena Shim, 1984-2014

“On Friday, October 17, Serena went on air for Press TV. She was rattled in the broadcast. Serena said that Turkish intelligence officials had accused her of spying. She had reported that Islamic State fighters had been smuggled over the border in trucks with logos from the World Food Programme. No one had seen this before or made such allegations.”


My twitter feed has become a memorial for the death of journalists from Iraq to Turkey. The latest tragedy was the death of Serena Shim, a US citizen who is of Lebanese origin and worked for Press TV. Last year I had met Serena in Beirut. It is commonplace for journalists to meet each other, to learn where one has been and whether there are stories out there that help give wider context and confirmation for stories that one follows. It was in that context that I met Serena, who had been covering the conflict in Ukraine, Iraq and of course Lebanon. She was a warm person, very smart and very well informed. Her bravery impressed me. Others of her ilk and of her age bracket include the fabulous Radwan Mortada (al-Akhbar) and Jenan Moussa (al-Ain). These are reporters who go into dangerous situations with no “security advisors” – I worry for them daily.

Ten days ago, Serena’s employer Press TV sent her to Turkey to cover the story of the Kobane conflict and to look into the allegations of Turkish help to the Islamic State. This is a story that takes one to Urfa, a city that is linked to Syria through the border crossing at Akçakale. At Urfa’s Balıklıgöl State Hospital, evidence for the treatment of Islamic State fighters is not camouflaged – it is there in plain sight. The Islamic State wounded from the battle of Kobane cross over for treatment here. Any journalist who covered this aspect of the war knows that Turkish intelligence (Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı) has been mighty skittish about the story. They are quick to show up, and quick to make gestures of ill will.

On Friday, October 17, Serena went on air for Press TV. She was rattled in the broadcast. Serena said that Turkish intelligence officials had accused her of spying. She had reported that Islamic State fighters had been smuggled over the border in trucks with logos from the World Food Organization. No one had seen this before or made such allegations. It came to the heart of the suspicion of various forms of assistance being provided to the Islamic State through Turkey. Barzan Iso, a Syrian Kurdish journalist, had already reported that Qatari charities have been using the Jarabulus crossing to get aid to the Islamic State. I had also reported on this but did not have any evidence that trucks with logos from international organizations were being used for this purpose.

From the Turkish towns of Mardin, Kilis and Urfa, the foreign jihadis made an easy transit into Syria. Until recently, Turkish authorities did not try to hide this “rat line.” Oğuzeli Airport in Gaziantep (Turkey) had come to resemble the old airport in Peshawar (Pakistan), as the bearded wonders disembarked with a glint in their eyes to join what they saw as a holy war. Pakistani intelligence had the same steel in their walk as Turkish intelligence – the parallels seemed to me more and more appropriate when a Kurdish commander told me that the Islamic State is to Turkey as the Taliban is to Pakistan.

In her last broadcast via Skype, Serena told Press TV that she had footage of the IS militants making across the border in broad daylight. The pressure from Turkish intelligence worried her. Reporters Without Borders had called Turkey the “largest prison for journalists.” Because of that she said, “I’m a little bit frightened.” She felt that the pressure had come for her forthright reports from Turkey about the war in Syria.

Two days later, on Sunday, Serena was traveling in a rental car from the border to the town of Suruç, when her car collided with a “heavy vehicle,” likely a cement mixer. The driver and truck vanished. Serena was killed. Her cameraman was injured and is now at Suruç State Hospital.

Turkish authorities say that the driver of the cement mixer has been arrested. An investigation is ongoing.

Serena’s name joins a long list of journalists killed in the war in Iraq-Syria – the Islamic State murdered Mohanad al-Akidi and Raad Mohamed al-Azzawi this month. This was in Iraq.

The Kobane fight has raised tensions in Turkey. It has threatened the “Imrali Process,” a peace negotiation between the Turkish government and the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK). Protests inside Turkey for action to defend Kobane resulted in the death of at least thirty people. Pressure has also come on the pro-Kurdish media. On October 2, demonstrators in the town of Diyarbakir attacked four reporters for the pro-Kurdish press – Bisar Durgut and Nihat Kutlu of the daily Azadiya Welat and Beritan Canözer and Sarya Gözüglu of JINHA. Bisar Durgut had eight stab wounds. On 14 October, in Turkey’s Adana, Kadri Bagdu was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle as he distributed the Kurdish daily papers Azadiya Welat and Ozgur Gundem.

Serena Shim, who leaves behind a family that includes her two young children, found herself chasing the truth in a highly charged situation. Evidence that Turkey is assisting the Islamic State is awkward for Ankara. It is as awkward as the evidence of collusion between al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Navy uncovered by my friend and Asia Times colleague Saleem Shahzad (1970-2011). He was killed for his fearless journalism. It is my feeling that Serena met Saleem’s fate.


Dernière heure. Les Etats-Unis ont bloqué la chaîne Russia Today RT



Les Etats-Unis ont interrompu la diffusion de la chaîne Russia Today, a annoncé le rédacteur en chef de la chaîne Margarita Simonyan sur son compte Twitter.

« Je m’y attendais depuis longtemps. Maintenant notre chaîne est bloquée aux Etats-Unis. Ça y est ! Bravo à la liberté de l’expression ! »

Russia Today appelée RT, est une chaîne de télévision d’information continue russe lancée le 10 décembre 2005 par l’agence gouvernementale RIA Novosti qui l’abrite dans ses locaux moscovites. Depuis 2007, la chaîne est entrée dans la bataille de l’information, au même titre que BBC World, CNN, Al Jazeera et France 24.

Il s’agit aux États-Unis de la seconde chaîne d’information étrangère la plus regardée. Elle emploie plusieurs milliers de personnes avec un siège à Moscou et Washington, et des bureaux à Paris, Londres, Los Angeles, Miami, Delhi et Tel Aviv.

Russia Today a été bloquée par la ressource Reddit. Connue pour ses analyses alternatives, loin de la propagande des grands médias, la chaîne compte plus d’un millions d’abonnés dans le monde entier.

Ahmadinejad: “World must condemn killing of Press TV reporter, Maya Nasser, in Syria”

Press TV correspondent in Damascus, Maya Naser, who was killed in a terrorist attack on September 26, 2012


Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on the international community to condemn the assassination of a Press TV correspondent in Syria.

“I do hope that such an event will not be repeated anywhere in the world and I do hope that all, without paying attention to the personal preferences, will come to condemn such events,” President Ahmadinejad said in a press conference following his speech at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.

Insurgents in the Syrian capital of Damascus attacked Press TV staff, killing the Iranian English-language news network’s correspondent, Maya Naser, and injuring Press TV and Al-Alam Damascus Bureau Chief Hosein Mortada, on Wednesday.

Naser was shot and killed by a sniper, while Mortada, a Lebanese national, was shot and wounded in the back.

The two were covering twin bomb blasts, which targeted the military command building in the Syrian capital and killed at least four Syrian security forces.

The Iranian president expressed his sincere condolences over the death of the Press TV correspondent and called on everyone to respect the sanctity of reporters.

He said that reporting is a very important tool which sheds light on realities and informs the international community about events that happen in faraway places.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Wednesday strongly condemned the latest terrorist attacks in Syria, which led to Naser’s death.

“The mass media are working in the most difficult circumstances to reflect the realities and truth to the public opinion, and recourse to violence and terrorism can never prevent Syria’s realities from being revealed to people,” he said.

Born on July 30, 1979 in Syria, Maya Naser had studied political science, was fluent in Arabic and English and had worked in many countries including the US, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain.

Syria has been the scene of deadly unrest since mid-March, 2011 and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a large number of the insurgents are foreign nationals.  Continue reading


Video: Our bother MAYA NASSER last moments alive


“News Syria” tribute to Maya Nasser

Maya Nasser


My friend and our Syrian hero Maya Naser was assassinated today & his colleague Hussein Murtada was injured by a sniper in Damascus when Maya, the reporter from PressTV & Hussein the head of Al Alam TV bureau in Syria, went to cover the explosion this morning at the Omayyad Square.

Maya escaped death a couple of weeks ago when he and his team fell in a trap by Erdogan thugs aka FSA on his way back from Aleppo, Murtada also escaped death less than 10 days ago when a shrapnel injured him.

Maya my friend, you were martyred while covering the events and conveying the truth to the world, they wanted to silence you to pass their lies among people, we vow to keep telling the truth and we promise you to keep defacing the criminals until they’re tried in a justice court and punished.

Rest in peace my friend, may God his almighty accept you in the highest heavens along with the martyrs, the prophets and their companions, as he promised the martyrs.

Source: News Syria


For those who didn’t know him: Brave Journalist MAYA NASSER, courageous and honest, always on the field reporting truth

By MKERone

Just a couple of videos to show to the world who was Maya Nasser. A brave man, full of courage that gave his life for reporting truth. He was always on the field, even during shootings, to expose western media lies and give people an exclusive view on what has been unfolding in Syria.

He was a real journalist. On the field, talking about what he knew, saw, experienced. Not like the so called pundits, confortably sat in skycrapers MSM studios, talking about Syrian conflict thousands of miles away from Syria.

That is the reason why GCC/NATO/EU/USrahell/UN needed to kill Maya Nasser. To silence him.

Rest in peace dear brother ! May peace be upon you