Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Injured photographer hails Colvin

A photographer injured in Syria said the current situation is now 'more than a catastrophe' (AP)

Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin died doing something she was "completely passionate" about, according to the photographer injured alongside her.

Paul Conroy told Sky News that Ms Colvin was one of the bravest people he knew, adding that working with her was an "absolute privilege".

He expressed his fears for Syria and said that the current situation is now "more than a catastrophe", urging the authorities to intervene.

Speaking of Ms Colvin, he said: "Marie was a unique person. To work with her was just an absolute privilege. She was tenacious - one of the bravest people I know and to be quite honest, we never get the choice of how we die, but Marie died doing something she was completely passionate about.

"She was in one of the most dangerous situations in the world at this current time and she just wanted to tell the truth. She was horrified. That's why I feel I don't want to talk about me. What was happening to them (sic) people, we're going to look back with shame at sitting back and watching once again."

Mr Conroy said he feared for what would happen in Syria with no cameras or journalists there to report.

He said: "It's an attempt to massacre. It's horrifying to think that this is the part we're seeing. Once the cameras are gone, as they are now, God knows what's happening. Any talking now is too late."

Mr Conroy said that despite reports that many people have fled Homs, there are still thousands of people there, living in "bombed out wrecks" and "waiting to die". He said: "It's more than a catastrophe. It's snowing there now, people can't light fires. It's complete failure. In years to come, we're going to sit and we're going to go 'how did we let this happen under our nose?'"

When asked what he thought the people of Homs and Syria would want him to say on their behalf, Mr Conroy added: "I would say 'somebody please forget the geo-politics, forget the meetings, forget all of that, do something', because as I'm talking to you now they're dying.

Mr Conroy, who was speaking from his hospital bed in London, told Channel 4 News that those who got him out of Syria were heroes. He said: "Those people laid their lives down for us and I must honour that level of commitment by doing and saying what I can. I salute them."

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