August 11, 2012, in Al-Tal, Syria
Al-Bushi, 24, a journalist with the rebel Free Syrian Army, was killed in government shelling of Al-Tal, according to news reports. News reports said al-Bushi had left government military service in May 2012 to join the rebel army. Those accounts described his role as that of a journalist documenting the conflict from the perspective of the rebels and as a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army.
Al-Bushi contributed extensive reporting and footage of the Syrian conflict to numerous international outlets, including the pan-Arab news channel Al-Arabiya, Al-Jazeera, Sky News, and the United Arab Emirates-based Syrian, pro-opposition television channel Orient News, according to news reports.
Al-Bushi, originally from the central city of Hama, graduated from Damascus University with a journalism degree and wrote for the news website Syria News in 2009 before beginning mandatory government military service in 2010, according to a friend, a Syrian citizen journalist who uses the pseudonym Mattar Ismail.
In a convergence that illustrated the complex and often murky relationship between local journalists and the opposing armed forces, al-Bushi reported on the rebels' seizure of a pro-government television crew. In a report for Orient News on August 10, al-Bushi said the Free Syrian Army had seized an Al-Ikhbariya crew as it was filming in Al-Tal. CPJ research determined that the rebels had seized reporter Yara al-Saleh, camera operator Abdullah Tubara, camera operator Hatem Abu Yehia, and driver Hussam Imad.
In the video, al-Bushi said that one of the Al-Ikhbariya journalists had been wounded by government shelling while in captivity. He said the other captives were in good condition. CPJ research determined that Abu Yehia later died from the wounds al-Bushi described. On August 16, government forces freed the other captured crew members.
CPJ could not determine whether al-Bushi was working primarily as a journalist or as a fighter at the time of his death.
Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.
- In Syria, wave of deadly attacks against journalists, August 14, 2012