U.S. Court: War Correspondent Marie Colvin Deliberately Murdered By Assad Regime
A United States court ruled that renowned former Sunday Times war reporter Marie Colvin was deliberately murdered by the Assad regime and awarded her estate punitive damages totaling $300 million. Colvin, along with French photojournalist Remi Ochlik, was killed in a 2012 artillery attack on a makeshift press center in the Syrian city of Homs, an incident that cast a global spotlight on intensifying massacres perpetrated by Damascus and, in hindsight, foreshadowed the humanitarian catastrophe that would grow to include an estimated half a million civilian deaths and the displacement of over 10 million people. The court ruled that Colvin’s murder was an example of Syria’s systematic policy of repressing dissent, with media operating in the country long-termed “enemies of the state.” Despite testimony from a Syrian defector claiming the attack on Colvin was meticulously planned with a view to silencing her, Assad has denied any responsibility and in a 2016 interview with NBC News asserted that, “she [Colvin] worked with the terrorists and because she came [to Syria] illegally, she’s responsible of everything that befell her.” By contrast, Colvin’s family attorney described the judgment as “a very powerful signal to autocratic governments around the world that there are consequences for brazenly targeting journalists and pursuing a policy of censorship through violence.”
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