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IS Video Shows Killing of 5 Activists  06/26 10:58

   BEIRUT (AP) -- A graphic video emerged Sunday showing the killing of five 
Syrian media activists captured by the Islamic State group last year.

   The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the five were 
abducted in October and are believed to have been killed in December over their 
coverage of events in the eastern Syrian city of Deir el-Zour, half of which is 
held by IS.

   The head of the Observatory, Rami Abdurrahman, said news of the detention 
and killing of the activists was withheld because no bodies had surfaced and 
the families feared retribution for reporting the deaths.

   In the video, an IS narrator says the group is facing a media war and warns 
against reporting to the "crusaders" and "enemies of God." The narrator says 
journalists who report on IS may be targeted, even if they reside in Europe.

   Abdurrahman said one of the activists, 28-year-old Sami Jawdat, has been 
feeding information to the Observatory since the outbreak of the civil war in 
2011 and continued to do so after IS seized half of Deir el-Zour in 2014. He 
said Jawdat had been detained by IS on a number of previous occasions.

   He said that since learning of the abduction and killing of the activists, 
his group has told other activists to refrain from taking photos or shooting 
video in IS-held areas.

   In the video, each activist explains what he did to report from the area, at 
times acting it out by shooting pictures or interviewing people in the city's 
market. One of the activists says he reports for Al-Jazeera, another says he 
contributed to the New York-based Human Rights Watch. There was no immediate 
comment from either on Sunday.

   Syria is the third-deadliest country in the world for journalists after 
Yemen and Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. At least 95 
journalists have been killed in Syria since 2011. Almost no international news 
organizations send staff to Syria because of kidnappings by militants, who 
often kill their hostages.


(KA)

 
 
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