On June 19, 2019, an unidentified individual shot Hamza Turkia, a freelance photographer and videographer at the time working for French news agency Agence France-Presse, in the hand and leg while the journalist was covering clashes between forces allied with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord and the self-styled Libyan National Army in Tripoli, the journalist and his colleague told CPJ.
Turkia told CPJ via messaging app that he was embedded with Government of National Accord forces at the time of the incident, and was filming the clashes when the building he was in was hit by machine-gun fire. He said two bullets passed through a wall and struck him, one in his finger and one in his left thigh. Turkia said he does not know whether the shots were fired by Government of National Accord or Libyan National Army forces. The journalist was wearing a press vest and a helmet at the time of the incident, according to his colleague, Agence France-Presse Middle East and North Africa video coordinator Nicolás García, who communicated with CPJ via email.
The journalist administered first aid to himself at the scene and was then taken to a field hospital and later a clinic, and has recovered from his wounds, according to Turkia and García.
García told CPJ that Turkia has regularly contributed to AFPTV, the agency’s video arm, as a freelance video journalist since 2014.