After the publication of CPJ’s March 27, 2012, news alert on the deaths of Naseem Intriri and Walid Bledi during a Syrian military attack near the Turkish border, a human rights defender and diplomatic sources raised questions about the journalistic credentials of the deceased.
CPJ’s initial assessment was based on news reports and an interview with a person who said he had provided the two with support services during their time in Syria. The individual said he had witnessed Intriri, a French citizen, and Bledi, a British citizen, filming and performing other journalistic activities for what he understood would be a documentary.
However, CPJ’s follow-up research has not found any record of previous journalistic work by Intriri or Bledi or any known arrangement to disseminate a film, important elements in determining whether their deaths were journalism-related. Based on its follow-up research, CPJ is not classifying the deaths as journalism-related, but it is continuing to investigate the case.