Humam Najjar (Abu Yazan al-Halabi)

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Najjar, a TV presenter and online reporter, died on April 16, nine days after he was injured in a car bomb that detonated at the headquarters of several local rebel groups in the town of Marea, press freedom group SKeyes and local news outlets reported. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Najjar was taken to Turkey after the April 7 attack, but died from his injuries, which included a fractured skull.

Najjar, who was known among his colleagues as Abu Yazan al-Halabi, grew up in Kuwait, but returned to his native Aleppo at the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011. In 2012, he began working as a correspondent for the Shaam News Network, a Syrian opposition news website, where he reported on local news, including civilian life and military battles. He also started working as a press officer for a small rebel brigade in Aleppo, which was led by his uncle and was one of the targets of the April 7 bomb. He quit the job in May 2014, according to Ayman, a media activist in Aleppo who asked that CPJ use only his first name to protect his identity.

Najjar joined TV channel Aleppo Today in early 2015. He was on assignment for the channel the day the bomb exploded, according to Ayman; Omar Hafez, a photographer at Aleppo Today; and Mohammed Sufil, a producer at Aleppo Today, who spoke to CPJ. Najjar was at the rebels’ headquarters to interview a military commander for a new TV show, called “Face-to-Face,” which he would host on the channel.

Sufil told CPJ that the station had sent Najjar to the rebels’ headquarters, where his connections would have helped him get an interview. Due to Najjar’s death, “Face-to-Face” never aired.

Shaam News Network published a YouTube video of Najjar’s funeral on April 17.