Syrian participant dies in air raid | Middle East/North Africa | DW | 02.05.2013
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Middle East/North Africa

Syrian participant dies in air raid

Mohammed Al-Khalf had taken part in a DW Akademie workshop for citizen journalists held in April in Istanbul. He died in an air raid just a few days after returning home.

"We are shocked by the death of our Syrian colleague," said DW Akademie Managing Director, Gerda Meuer. Mohammed Al-Khalf had participated in a DW Akademie workshop for Syrian citizen journalists held April 15 - 22. The workshop had been conducted in Istanbul for safety reasons.

A few days after returning to Syria Mohammed Al-Khalf had apparently tried to confirm whether or not the Syrian state army had used poison gas in attacks on Aleppo. The opposition suspected it had.

Al-Khalf came from the Idlib area some 70 kilometers west of Aleppo. It has been a stronghold for the opposition since the start of the revolution. Al-Khalf was a citizen journalist for several Arab television and radio stations. He also wrote poetry. He had contacted DW Akademie through a Syrian opposition network based in France.

DW Akademie has been training Syrian citizen journalist since 2012 with an aim to convey professional reporting standards in preparation for a new democratic media environment.

"Mohammed Al-Khalf's death underlines the dangers journalists face in war zones such as Syria, but it is so important to get information on what is actually happening in these areas. Our workshops aim to help citizen journalists such as Mohammed Al-Khalf to report as comprehensively as possible," said Gerda Meuer. DW Akademie will continue its work with Syrian journalists.

Mohammed Al-Khalf leaves behind a wife and five children.