Abdul Wahed Abdul Ghany, known as Abdo Abdo, was critically wounded on June 9, 2016, while covering clashes between Syrian government troops and rebels in Mallah, near Aleppo, the Syrian Journalists Association’s Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms reported. He died of his injuries on June 21.
Abdul Ghany was a photojournalist for the Anadan Media Center, a pro-opposition press office documenting on the impact of the Syrian war on the northern Aleppo town of Anadan, and Turkey’s official Anadolu Agency.
An Anadan employee told the Committee to Protect Journalists that the majority of Abdul Ghany’s work was with the media center, which commemorated his death on its Facebook page. He worked from their office most days of the week, and been working for them for since 2014, his colleague Ramy said, requesting that CPJ refer to him only by his given name for fear of retribution.
Turkey’s Anadolu Agency did not respond to CPJ’s request for comment on Abdul Ghany’s employment status, but Ramy told CPJ Abdul Ghany sold them images on a freelance basis.
Ramy told CPJ that on June 9 Abdul Ghany was reporting for the media center on clashes between the regime and rebel forces in the town of Mallah, roughly 20 kilometers from Anadan. The media center normally reports on the immediate vicinity of Anadan, and Ramy was unable to explain why Abdul Ghany was on the frontline and whether he was embedded with a rebel group. A video uploaded to YouTube purports to show the moments immediately after Abdul Ghany was wounded.
According to Ramy, Abdul Ghany also worked as a press officer for the Sham Legion, a coalition of Islamist rebel brigades primarily operating in north Syria. Two weeks before he was injured, Abdul Ghany uploaded an image of himself wearing camouflage trousers, standing next to a man carrying a machine gun. Another photograph published to Instagram in 2015 depicts Abdul Ghany aiming a rifle, with the word “revolution” superimposed on the image. Ramy told CPJ that Abdul Ghany may have been “practicing” using a gun, but that he was never a fighter with the Sham Legion.
A spokesperson for Sham Legion told CPJ that he did not have a record of Abdul Ghany’s having worked for the coalition, but that he could not completely rule it out.