Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Colvin's body arrives in Damascus

The body of a British newspaper journalist killed in Syria has arrived in Damascus after being handed over by the Syrian authorities.

Acclaimed war reporter Marie Colvin, who wrote for The Sunday Times, and French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed in a rocket attack in the besieged Baba Amr area of the city of Homs last week.

Their deaths fuelled renewed calls for urgent international action to avert a humanitarian disaster in Syria where more than 7,500 civilians have died at the hands of brutal leader president Bashar Assad.

Photographer Paul Conroy, who was injured alongside Ms Colvin, told reporters that working with her had been an "absolute privilege".

Speaking from his hospital bed in London, Mr Conroy 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."

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". 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. They would say please send help. They need help. This is beyond meetings."

Earlier Prime Minister David Cameron vowed that Syrians involved in "butchering" their own people would face a "day of reckoning", adding that supporters of president Assad's "criminal regime" have blood on their hands.

Speaking at an EU summit in Brussels at which Syria was high on the agenda, Mr Cameron described the situation in Homs as "a scene of medieval barbarity".

The Prime Minister urged China and Russia to end their support for the Syrian government, calling on them to "look hard at the suffering" in the city, where rebels have faced a bloody crackdown from Assad's forces.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph