Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has told the Sunday Times that Marie Colvin, the journalist for the paper who was killed in Syria last year, was not targeted by his forces.
Colvin died in February 2012 after a shelling attack on the city of Homs. She was one of 28 reporters killed in the country that year according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Her death sent shockwaves through the journalistic community; in 2013, the UN and other groups marked the anniversary of the killing by proclaiming "A Day Without News" to highlight the dangers journalists face.
In a rare interview, Assad dismissed these charges.
“When a journalist goes into a conflict zone to cover a story and convey it to the world, I think it is very courageous work," Assad said to the Sunday Times, according to the Press Gazette. (The Sunday Times interview is behind a paywall.)
“If you enter illegally, you cannot expect the state to be responsible," Assad added.
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