Lebanese cameraman shot dead by Syrian forces

Ali Shaaban (Photo via Facebook.com)

The work of a news cameraman would appear a harsh and thankless job. Only after devastating tragedies like the gunning down on Monday of Al-Jadeed photographer Ali Shaaban, do we ever hear about the men and women behind the lens.

We know the Syrian regime has shown little tolerance for international media, and we know it is corrupt and oppressive. But its utter lack of respect for human life is truly disturbing. More than ever, Bashar al-Assad’s regime, along with the Syrian army, have exposed themselves as reckless killers.

Al-Jadeed should be commended for its immediate and unflinching response to Shaaban’s death. In a country where media organizations are dominated by political agendas and habitually used as tools for propaganda, the station has demonstrated true journalistic integrity.

Our hearts go out to Ali Shaaban’s family and his colleagues at New TV.

Let us also remember the people who have no other choice than to live in a constant state of danger and mortal threat, the innocent people who are killed daily by the Syrian regime, the people whose life and death will be recognized by perhaps just the handful of people who knew them.

On Wednesday, Al-Jadeed photographer Abed al-Azim Khayat, who was with Shaaban at the border but survived the shooting, demanded the Lebanese government expel Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali from the country.

To demand anything less would be to silently condone an innocent man’s death.

Colleagues carry the coffin of Al-Jadeed TV cameraman Ali Shaaban outside the station’s studios in Beirut on April 10.


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