Youssef Younis

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Younis was shot while covering clashes between the rebel
Free Syrian Army and government forces in the Damascus suburb of Sidi Meqdad,
according to opposition
news reports
and the Beirut-based watchdog the Samir Kassir Foundation
(SKeyes). Younis had traveled with the rebel forces to cover an attack against
government forces who were occupying several buildings in the neighborhood, the
reports said.

Younis, 24, who was popularly known as “Abu Mujahid,” was a photographer and videographer
who regularly filmed clashes between the rebels and government forces. He had
studied economics at Damascus University, but left school in 2011 to cover the
Syrian uprising as a citizen journalist.

Younis was a contributor to Lens Young Dimashqi, a collective of citizen
photographers in Damascus and its suburbs. Younis’ work
for the collective has been picked up by several regional
including the Lebanese
English-language Daily Star.

Younis also helped found the local Coordination Committee
for the Syrian Revolution in Babbila, and often contributed to its Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
The Syrian Revolution Coordination of Babbila is a collective of citizen
journalists and activists who coordinate the media effort in the neighborhood,
including covering clashes and conducting interviews. The group has published
hundreds of videos since establishing its YouTube account in 2011. Its coverage
has been picked up by international
and local news outlets.

Similar media centers have sprung up all across Syria as
citizen journalists and opposition activists document how the unrest has
affected their communities. The documentation provided by citizen journalists
has been crucial in the international understanding of the Syrian conflict
because of extreme government restrictions and danger that prevent widespread
news media coverage.

CPJ found two
of Younis posing with automatic weapons, but CPJ found that media
coverage of Younis consistently described him only as a photographer and videographer.
Any non-combatant, including journalists, who take part in hostilities lose
their protective status, according to the Geneva

Lens Young Dimashqi and the Coordination Committee for the
Syrian Revolution in Babilla did not respond to requests for comment.