The French journalist, Gilles Jacquier, has been killed during unrest in the Syrian capital, Homs. The television reporter worked for France 2 and had been working on a report authorised by the Syrian government for the French magazine program “Envoyé spécial”. A second member of the reporting team was not hurt and France Télévisions are now working to repatriate the body of Mr Jacquier as well as the surviving team members.
The French Prime Minister, François Fillon, called on the Syrian authorities to do everything possible to establish the exact circumstances of Mr Jacquier’s death. The PM paid tribute to the “veteran reporter”, who, “paid with his life for a commitment to testify in especially difficult circumstances”.
High Representative Catherine Ashton strongly condemned the tragic event, expressing her condolences “to the family of Mr. Jacquier and the families of all the victims of this terrible attack”.
The European Union’s High Representatives went onto call for an immediate end to the violence in Syria and greater protection for the media, saying:
“The Syrian authorities have a responsibility to guarantee the safety of journalists in their country. The press must be allowed to carry out its vital role of providing independent information on events in Syria without fear of violence or repression”.
Meanwhile, the Arab League monitoring team in Syria continues its work with the Secretary General, Dr Nabil, asking for restraint in the media following speculation over the outcome of the team’s report. He also asked the Assad government for unrestricted access throughout Syria and better protection for the Arab League observer mission.