Syrian mother and daughter journalists murdered in Istanbul

Index on Censorship condemns the brutal killing of two Syrian journalists

22 Sep 2017
Syrian journalists Orouba Barakat and her daughter Halla Barakat were found murdered in Istanbul. (Facebook)

Syrian journalists Orouba Barakat and her daughter Halla Barakat were found murdered in Istanbul. (Facebook)

The bodies of Syrian journalists Orouba Barakat and her daughter Halla Barakat were discovered in their apartment in Istanbul late Thursday 22 September, 2017.

Friends who failed to reach Halla Barakat by phone called the police, who had a locksmith open the apartment located on Yangaç Street in the Üsküdar neighbourhood.

According to police reports, the Barakats were strangled and then stabbed. The perpetrators also poured detergent powder on the bodies to minimise the smell of the decomposing bodies.

“The brutal killing of Orouba and Halla is a tragedy for press freedom.” Hannah Machlin, project manager, Mapping Media Freedom, said. “As we mourn the loss of two brave journalists, we call on the authorities to swiftly investigate and identify those responsible for this heinous crime.”  

Orouba Barakat was a journalist, filmmaker and activist who was an outspoken critic of the Assad regime and a staunch supporter of the revolution. She had exposed countless atrocities of the Assad regime in prisons.

Her daughter Halla (22) was a reporter for Alekhbarya TV, news editor for the Orient and former editor at Turkish state channel TRT world.

Both Barakat and her daughter had been reportedly receiving threats from groups associated with the Bashar Assad government.

Orouba Barakat was forced to spend most of her life in exile. She fled her native Syria in the 1980s. She resided in the UAE before moving to Istanbul.

The police are still investigating the murder. The date of the murder is not yet known.

Media freedom is under threat worldwide. Journalists are threatened, jailed and even killed simply for doing their job.

Index on Censorship monitors media freedom in Turkey and 41 other European area nations.

As of 22/9/2017, there were 525 verified violations of press freedom associated with Turkey in the Mapping Media Freedom database.

Index on Censorship campaigns against laws that stifle journalists’ work. We also publish an award-winning magazine featuring work by and about censored journalists. Support our work today.

The free speech Euros: Group A

As Europe’s eyes turn to the football, Index’s look at free speech in the competing nations

Film awards season: Journalism and activism in the spotlight

Movies on social justice and investigative journalism dominate the nominations for major awards at the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the Baftas this year

Under cover of Covid, too many people have stopped paying attention

Authoritarian leaders are restricting freedom of expression while we battle the pandemic

The desperate situation for six people who are #JailedNotForgotten

We revisit the six activists and journalists currently in jail and call for your messages of support

Comments are closed.