Ibrahim Abd al-Qader and Fares Hamadi were found dead in a house in the province of Sanliurfa in Turkey
They helped produce news on various platforms from around Syria, including reporting out of ISIS strongholds
Qader was a founding member of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, which has been at the forefront of documenting ISIS atrocities
The dark tentacles of ISIS’ brutality have reached across the border with Syria and into the homes of two Syrian activists living in the southeastern Turkish town of Sanliurfa.
Ibrahim Abd al-Qader and Fares Hamadi were found with their throats slashed in a house in the province of Sanliurfa in Turkey on Friday. The pair worked for a media collective called Eye on Homeland, which produces news on various platforms from around Syria, including reporting out of ISIS strongholds.
Qader was one of the founding members of the collective known as Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, which has been one of the groups at the forefront of documenting ISIS atrocities in Raqqa, Syria. Members of the group are regularly threatened by ISIS, according to Qader’s brother, who also used to be a part of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silenty. “A short while ago, my brother even asked me to stay home to protect myself as I was receiving death threats. He told me to stay at home and he can do the work,” said Ahmed Qader, who has also received countless death threats for his work.
The group’s mission is to expose ISIS brutality in Raqqa, but it has grown to cover the terrorist organization’s atrocities across Syria. Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently has been instrumental in showing the effect that ISIS control has on the civilian population. In cities cut off from the world and where ISIS prohibits any type of photography, the group has a track record of being able to smuggle out video and photographs of ISIS’ brutality. It has been a powerful counterweight to the ISIS propaganda machine, which regularly uses social media to disseminate its own videos. The group worked closely with foreign media to shed light on ISIS but also made it a mission to document ISIS war crimes.
In a statement, the Committee to Protect Journalists urged Turkish authorities to thoroughly investigate the murders. A Turkish source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN that footprints at the scene and security footage from cameras around the area are being analyzed, and police have brought in 24 people to give statements on the double homicide. One suspect is still at large, according to the Turkish source.
Ahmed said the man who he believes killed two men preyed on his brother’s friendly nature. The man he suspects befriended the two men and lived nearby, according to Ahmed. “My brother was a kind man, so he would hang out with the guy,” he said.
Qader was stabbed multiple times in addition to his throat being cut, Ahmed said. A video posted online Sunday by ISIS accounts showed images of the gruesome crime scene. “The risks to journalists operating in Syria are well documented. These murders show how the grave risks journalists face in Syria have metastasized across the porous border with Turkey,” the Committee to Protect Journalists statement said.
The murders sent shock waves through the Syrian community of activists living in Turkey, but Ahmed and other activists say this will not weaken their resolve. “We will not stop. We will continue. As a matter of fact, we will continue what we are doing more now than ever before,” he said.