Amjad Hassan Bakir * 1995 Syria, killed 2019 in Syria
Bakir worked as a freelance photojournalist in and around his hometown of Saraqib in Syria, covering airstrikes and bombings and posting photos and videos to YouTube and the local Facebook news page Saraqib al-Hadath.
At the time of his death, Bakir had been covering the pro-Assad Syrian Army’s offensive on the town of Kafr Houd in Idlib province, and was embedded with members of the opposition group known as the Free Idlib Army. Some sources claim Bakir was employed by the Free Idlib Army as a photographer; other sources, including Bakir’s cousin Hazem Bakir, deny this and say that Bakir was an independent journalist.
On June 18, 2019, Bakir was traveling through Kafr Houd in a truck with fighters from the Free Idlib Army when the truck was hit by a missile fired by pro-Assad forces, killing Bakir instantly along with at least ten others.
Bakir is one of at least 127 journalists who have been killed in the war in Syria since 2011.
On June 21st, the Committee to Protect Journalists released a statement condemning Bakir’s death and imploring all parties in the Syrian war to protect the safety of journalists and civilians. “Amjad Hassan Bakir is the latest name on a wretched list of reporters who paid the ultimate price for doing their work,” says Ignacio Miguel Delgado, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa Representative. “With the offensive underway by pro-Assad forces to retake Idlib, all sides to the conflict must do their utmost to allow journalists to report safely.”
“The Syrian Army doesn’t make any differences between soldiers, journalists, or civilians,” says Obada al-Fadl, the director of the pro-opposition Idlib Media Center. “They are all at risk.”
Sources: The Committee to Protect Journalists, The Syrian Journalists Association, and JESR Press.
Artist: Violet Kitchen