Death of Mohammed Zahir al-Sherqat

Press Statement
John Kirby
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
April 13, 2016

The United States condemns Daesh’s vicious murder this week in Gaziantep, Turkey of television journalist Mohammed Zahir al-Sherqat, who courageously worked to expose Daesh’s hypocrisy. We express our heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. al-Sherqat, who is survived by his wife and young son.

This is the latest alarming attack by Daesh on Syrian journalists in Turkey, and we stand ready to support Turkey as it works to bring to justice those responsible for attacks on the media.

Freedom of the press, including ensuring that journalists can safely report on the crisis in Syria, remains critical as reporters keep working to expose the truth about this brutal conflict and Daesh’s atrocities. As Secretary Kerry said earlier this year, “To those who try to intimidate or imprison reporters, we need to stand up and say loud and clear that committing journalism, reporting on the truth, is not a crime. It is a badge of honor. It is a public service.”