Syria: Journalist Bahaa Al-Halabi survives assassination attempt
On 07 January 2021, Syria TV issued a statement reporting that journalist Bahaa Al-Halabi, correspondent for Syria TV in Al-Bab, survived an assassination attempt while returning to his home on the evening of 06 January 2021. Al- Bab is a city in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.
The assassination attempt was carried out by two masked and unknown gunmen who chased him while he was sitting in his car at his house and shot him with automatic weapons. He was hit directly in the hand and leg, and a bullet lodged in his left shoulder, which required his transfer to Al-Bab Hospital. He left the hospital on 08 January 2021, after his injuries improved and his life was out of danger.
On 08 January 2020, Al-Halabi gave a TV interview about the details of the assassination attempt, in which he said, "The city of Al-Bab has become, in fact, a ghost town," due to the violence that armed factions who control the region practice against the local citizens, including activists and journalists. He added, "I escaped certain death, and praise be to God, Lord of the worlds, my health condition is good."
However, he returned to the hospital due to the need for other surgeries, including one to remove the bullet that lodged in his left shoulder.
On 11 January 2021, Al-Halabi posted a tweet on his Twitter account, which stated, “Praise be to God, Lord, the operations were successful - a bullet was taken out from near a dangerous area, and an operation for my hand. O Lord.”
In the city of Al-Bab, which is controlled by armed factions loyal to Turkey, there have been frequent assassinations and various explosions through improvised explosive devices or car bombs, the victims of which were innocent citizens, including activists and journalists. Responsibility for the attacks are often not claimed by any party.
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) declares its full solidarity with the journalist Bahaa Al-Halabi and expresses its relief that he escaped the heinous assassination attempt. GCHR calls on the authorities responsible for the security of the region to conduct an independent and comprehensive investigation to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. The authorities and various parties to the conflict should make every effort to promote and protect journalistic work and freedom of expression.