Al-Hafiri, a videographer and citizen journalist, died from injuries he received on September 27, 2013, while covering clashes in a western suburb of Damascus, according to local activists and news reports. The media office of the Syrian Revolution Command Council in Damascus Suburbs (SRCC), where al-Hafiri worked, told CPJ that he was hit by shrapnel from a tank shell while filming clashes in the town in Al-Bahariyah.
Al-Jazeera correspondent Mahmoud Zaibak told CPJ that he was with al-Hafiri on the day he was wounded. He said al-Hafiri had been filming clashes in Al-Bahariyah since that morning. He said he left quickly because of intense bombardment in the area, but that al-Hafiri stayed to document the unrest.
Al-Hafiri underwent multiple surgeries for ruptures in his liver, spleen, colon, and intestines, as well as shrapnel in one of his lungs, but died two days later, the SRCC media office said.
The SRCC media office is comprised of a group of citizen journalists who upload news updates, photos, and video footage of local events around the suburbs of Damascus onto their Facebook page. Al-Hafiri, who was known professionally as “Nour al-Diin” and “Omar al-Farouq,” also worked for other local media centers and international satellite TV channels, including Al-Jazeera, according to the SRCC media office.
The SRCC media office and Zaibak said that al-Hafiri was the videographer for multiple reports that aired on Syrian opposition TV networks, including Shada al-Huriya and Orient News. They said he had filmed the aftermath of the alleged chemical weapons attack on Eastern Ghouta in August 2013, and had also contributed footage of UN inspectors collecting soil samples from the area.
The SRCC media office told CPJ that al-Hafiri began working as a journalist by photographing peaceful demonstrations early in the revolution, but later switched his focus to covering clashes.
Zaibak told CPJ that al-Hafiri had assisted him and other Al-Jazeera correspondents with coverage of local events, including clashes, around the Damascus suburbs, and had worked both as a fixer and as a cameraman for some reports. Al-Hafiri was also featured in an Al-Jazeera report on the dangers facing citizen journalists in Syria.