PRESS TV'S SERENA SHIM'S FATHER SAYS: "MY DAUGHTER WAS A RESISTANCE FIGHTER" (22.10.2014)
Last updated 24.10.2014
Love & Peace x
"TEHRAN (FNA)- Terrorist groups and their sponsors dread one thing only: Truth-tellers, i.e., independent and freelance journalists.
And it doesn’t make any difference if you are an American, European, Arab or Iranian independent/freelance journalist. You are still on their hit list!
Serena Shim, Press TV’s correspondent in Turkey, is one of those truth-tellers. The Lebanese-American correspondent was “killed” in a car crash near the Turkish border with Syria. After reporting on scene in Turkey's Urfa province, the vehicle transporting Shim to her hotel was crashed into by a heavy vehicle.
Shim’s “accident” has created an air of suspicion on Turkey. Several media outlets, including Press TV, are calling the car crash “suspicious.”
Before her death, Shim had informed Press TV that the Turkish intelligence agency had accused her of spying. She had denied the accusations and expressed fears of being arrested. Shim had also said she obtained “stories and images about ISIL militants infiltrating into Syria through the Turkish border, on trucks from the World Food Organization and NGOs.”
Shim is the second Press TV correspondent killed in the past two years. Maya Nasser was the first. The Syrian correspondent was killed in 2012 by a rebel sniper while reporting on bombings in Damascus. Nasser reported from the frontlines of the conflict. His video reports from war-torn Aleppo were a valuable source of on-the-ground information.
It is still too early to come to any conclusion, though. What’s clear is that, in general, it is because of their disturbing images and stories on the field that independent journalists like Shim become a target for those who want to hide the truth in places like Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan – alternative news stories and eye-witness accounts that clearly rebut pro-West and pro-Israel media narratives.
However, regimes such as the US, Israel and their allies continue to defend their targeting of journalists and even TV stations.
Their military impunity benefits from the short memory of the media and so-called international community.
Shim’s “suspicious” death may be seen as a continuation of this long pattern of committing the crime of targeting journalists with no evidence and consequence. In any case, the targeting of journalists is a war crime, including those who are said to work for a state-run outlet.
According to Reporters Without Borders: "The fact that media serve as propaganda organs does not justify making them a military target. An expert committee formed by the International Criminal Court's prosecutor for the former Yugoslavia, to assess the NATO bombing campaign of 1999, specified that a journalist or media organization is not a legitimate target merely because it broadcasts or disseminates propaganda.
" For generations, independent and freelance journalists have risked their lives and given their lives – covering wars, human disasters and uncovering dark and ugly crimes committed against humanity in the name of “democracy” and “freedom”.
Over the past several years the targets of these stories have increasingly turned their guns on the truth-seekers: the journalists. Those who survive such attacks almost always say, “We are sure we were specifically targeted.” Under the circumstances, the independent news media community has no other option but to form an international campaign to raise awareness and bring penalties to those who target independent and freelance journalists.
As a leading voice in the world of alternative media, Iranian media outlets should join this new campaign as well. It’s the only way to draw attention to the growing numbers of independent journalists killed and injured in armed conflict, in some cases as a result of direct targeting by the belligerents.
To this end, the independent new media community should also develop an institutional/legal agenda; investigate and collect evidence in support of prosecutable cases, and facilitate the identification, investigation and prosecution of war crimes committed against independent journalists and freelancers the world over.
Serena Shim, a mother of two, deserves such a campaign."
"...The suspicious death of US-born journalist Serena Shim, and the deafening silence on the story in the US, is merely the latest example of the blatant double standard employed by the Western media...There has been no public statement as yet from Reporters Without Borders or any other press freedom organization charged with protecting and promoting freedom of the press and the universal protection of journalists."
Serena Shim’s death illustrates quite clearly the double standard applied by Western media and policymakers; Foley’s death was a national tragedy, Shim’s death a mere footnote at best. The inescapable fact is that this disparity is due not to whom they were, but rather who they worked for. Foley was a willing participant in the US-NATO war in Libya, “embedding” himself with the so called “rebels” who, thanks to a massive NATO bombing campaign that effectively destroyed Libyan military capabilities, participated in the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and the government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
Foley presented a picture of heroism and self-sacrifice on the part of the rebels, many of whom had direct links to al-Qaeda and global terrorist networks stretching from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia, portraying them as true patriots liberating their country of a brutal dictator. In effect, Foley was one of the chief propagandists for the NATO operation in Libya, shooting photographs that became central to the image Washington and NATO wanted to portray.
In stark contrast, Shim was working for Iran’s Press TV, a news outlet funded by the Iranian government which provides a counter-narrative to the one presented in the Western media. Press TV’s reportage has been critical of the international operation against Syria, including countless reports, debates, and analysis of the role of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Washington, Tel Aviv, and others in fomenting the war thus far.
Press TV has been deeply critical of US policy vis-à-vis Syria and Iraq, and has presented numerous reports questioning the role of international actors in those conflicts. Shim herself was killed just hours after breaking the news of militant extremists crossing the border into Syria with the assistance of Turkish intelligence, using World Food Program trucks. This bombshell story substantiated the countless other reports dating back to 2012 of Turkish intelligence’s involvement in precisely this sort of operation.
And so, it is clear that the media and government response to the death of journalists directly correlates to the kind of reporting being done. If you are journalist who works for a Western media outlet, and substantiates and propagates the Western narrative, then you are a hero and your death is a national tragedy that elicits a swift response. If, however, you are a journalist who works for a non-Western news organization, and is critical of the West and its policies and actions, then your death is simply not newsworthy and will be quickly forgotten. Such double standards, hypocrisy, and egregious immorality typify Western attitudes towards journalists and the role of the media.
"Two days after the US American journalist of Lebanese origin, Serena Shim, said that Turkish intelligence had accused her of spying, she died in a car crash. Serena Shim would not be the first journalist who reports about the conflict in Syria and Iraq to be assassinated.
Serena Shim was working as correspondent for the State owned Iranian TV channel PRESS TV in Turkey. The TV channel reports on its website, that Shim told PRESS TV, two days before she died in a car accident, that Turkey’s intelligence service had accused her of spying and that she feared that she would be arrested.
On Sunday, her car collided with another vehicle when she was returning from an in situ report in Suruç, a rural district of Şanlıurfa Province of Turkey, reported PRESS TV.
While accidents happen, there is good reason to call for a full investigation into the circumstances of the accident. Shim would not be the first journalist who reports about the conflict in Syria and especially about Turkish and core NATO member states’ involvement in the war on Syria to be assassinated.
Maya Nasr, killed by a sniper, was investigating possible Turkish war crimes.
The Syrian journalist Maya Nasr, who reported for Al-Alam and PRESS TV from Syria was assassinated in Damascus in September 2012. Maya Nasr was among others involved in investigating whether the Turkish government or Turkey’s intelligence service MIT released al-Qaeda linked terrorism convicts from Turkish prisons to fight with insurgents in Syria.
Nasr informed nsnbc that he had seen several people among slain insurgents who should, actually, be detained in Turkish prisons. Passports recovered from slain insurgents showed, among others, that one of the slain fighters in Syria was the brother of the 2003 HSBC bomber from Istanbul.
Maya Nasr was shot and killed by a sniper when he was covering a terrorist bombing in Damascus. The assassins reportedly monitored Nasr’s Twitter and were aware that he would appear at the scene to cover the attack.
Yaraa in aleppo
Yara Abbas, killed by a sniper while reporting from western Syria.
In May 2013, the Syrian journalist Yara Abbas was shot and killed by a sniper while she was reporting from a location near the Dabaa Air Base in the western part of Syria. Yara Abbas was working for the privately owned Syrian TV channel Al-Ikhbariya TV.
Senior Associate Fellow at Oxford’s St. Anthony College, political analyst, columnist, and nsnbc contributor Sharmine Narwani should have met Yara Abbas the day after her death.
Yara Abbas was on her way back to Damascus after she had been embedded with the Syrian Arab Army for nine days. Sharmine Narwani wrote a report about the killing of Abbas entitled “Yara Abbas – In her own words”.
Car accidents do occur, and journalists whose profession implies extensive traveling are more prone to traffic accidents than many others. Staged car accidents are, however, also part of the standard tool kit of intelligence agencies worldwide.
The death of yet another journalist who reports on Turkish – Syrian relations under suspicious or questionable circumstances calls for a full, and fully transparent investigation, including Serena Shim’s allegation that Turkey’s intelligence service had accused her of spying, and that she feared to be arrested.
Ch/L – nsnbc 20.10.2014
Editor’s note: Our condolences to the family and the loved ones of Serena Shim as well as to her colleagues at PRESS TV, and our continued support to the families, loved ones and colleagues of Maya Nasr, Yara Abbas, and any other journalist who is being murdered while or for executing his or her profession. The killing of journalists cannot stand.
We express our unequivocal condemnation of the killing of any journalist, any where, under any circumstances, and issue our unequivocal support for a full and transparent investigation into the circumstances of the death of Serena Shim. – For nsnbc international, Christof Lehmann, Editor-in-Chief.