17 Year old Photographer Molhem Barakat killed in Syria Conflicts

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17 Year old Photographer Molhem Barakat killed in Syria Conflicts

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Molhem Barakat at happier times

A 17 year old photographer Molhem Barakat working as a freelancer for Reuters was killed in Aleppo, Syria while covering the civil war between rebellion forces and Government loyalists on December 20, 2013. Barakat died in Kindi Hospital, Aleppo. He was covering a civil war where not many professional photojournalists were employed due to lack of security measures and protection for media.

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Camera Gear of Molhem Barakat after his death

A teenager whose age is being matter of international debate since his death is gauged to be 17 to 19 years old. Journalist Hannah Lucinda Smith, a friend of Molhem, recalls the concerns she was having when he was doing in the war zone, “He often asked me if he could work with me and I refused, because I didn’t want the responsibility of an eager seventeen year old with no war zone training and little experience on my shoulders. Soon afterwards I saw that he was filing photos for Reuters. I hope that they took responsibility for him in a way that I couldn’t, and I hope that if he was taking photographs as he died in the hope of selling them to that agency, they also take responsibility for him now.”

Entire media, standing watery-eyed behind Barakat and yet proud of his bravery, is asking questions about the integrity of Reuters and is critical about its approach of handling the situation. Stuart Hughes of BBC asked a few questions to Reuters for which he got an off-shoulder response. Journalist Corey Pein wrote on his blog, “Reuters, a big-leagues news service owned by a $13 billion multinational corporation, is ducking critical questions about the death of a teenage war photographer who’d been selling pictures to the agency.” He also has a list of questions that demand responsible answers from Reuters and we all are waiting to see their response.

Barakat’s photographs have been a part of Reuters’ publication since May this year and have also appeared on New Yorker Magazine and The New York Times. He was not a trained photographer to cover such bloodshed and conflicts and wasn’t provided with the minimum protective gears either. His death is a question on the practices being followed by several prestigious news agencies without backing of a legal or socially acceptable policy.

Molhem was covering one of the most baneful wars of recent times which has caused the death of over 100,000 people since it started in 2011. The war has became the sole reason behind millions of people being displaced to neighboring countries from their native place, Syria. Here are some photographs taken by Molhem and published by Reuters:

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

An FSA fighter in action near Aleppo’s Sheikh Saeed neighbourhood.

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

A member of the Liwaa al-Sultan Mrad brigade sitting with his back to a mirror. The mirror reflects the devastation of the streets around him.

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

An FSA loyalist peeping out of a window of an uninhabited house in Old Aleppo.

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

Children of a neighborhood in Old Aleppo playing Football.

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

Residents in search of survivors after an air strike by loyalists of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Takeek Al-Bab, Aleppo

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

Free Syrian Army fighters firing a bomb in the direction of Government loyal forces in Aleppo’s Karm al-Jabal district.

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

An anti tank missile in operation from the Tawhid Brigade, Aleppo

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

SFA fighters trying to shoot down a helicopter belonging to Syrian Army in Aleppo’s Bustan al-Basha district.

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

Mohammad, a 13-year-old fighter from the Free Syrian Army, aims his weapon through a hole in a wall in Aleppo’s Bustan al-Basha district on Oct. 28. Mohammad joined the Free Syrian Army after his father died during clashes with the Syrian regime; the gun he is using was his father’s.

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

An injured FSA fighter trying to survive after being hit by a sniper on the front line in Aleppo’s Sheikh Saeed neighborhood on Sept. 21.

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

A devastated site after an airstrike in the Takeek Al-Bab area of Aleppo on Dec. 15.

Molhem Barakat, Photojournalist, Syrian Civil War

Photo Credit: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

Fighters from the Tawhid Brigade, dragging a rocket launcher near the 80th Brigade base in Aleppo on Nov. 13.

We, at IDA, mourn Molhem’s death and pray his soul to be at peace. We also hope to get answers of all those flaming questions asked to Reuters. We also hope that a better system can be pushed along only with supports from you. Please, retweet “Molhem Barakat, reportedly 17, had sold photos to @reuters and was killed in #syria”.

Sources:

Telegraph

Reuters

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