Syrian video blogger Rami Ahmad Al-Sayed, who spent the last several weeks broadcasting the heavy military assault in the city of Homs, was killed on Tuesday by Syrian armed forces. His death was confirmed by fellow Syrian activists. Al-Sayed was 27.
Al-Sayed had filmed the uprising in Baba Amr, a district within the city of Homs, which had reportedly broken away from the government's control in 2011. He used the site Bambuser, which hosted live video streams directly from his camera and broadcast the footage to millions of Internet viewers. His footage was used by major news networks that have been barred from entering Syria, including Al Jazeera and BBC World.
Rami Ahmad Alsayeed has for months been one of the bravest and forefront fighters in getting the world's attention on what's going on in Homs, Syria, Bambuser said in a company blog post. In the afternoon, cameraman and journalist Rami Ahmad Alsayeed did his last broadcast - he and three of his friends were soon after this killed by the Assad armed forces on the streets of BabaAmr.
Al-Sayed was reportedly accompanying his three friends to a civil hospital when his car was hit by a mortar, instantly killing his three passengers. Al-Sayed suffered major injuries and died from his wounds later in the hospital. The doctors recorded Al-Sayed's fatal injuries as he lay dead on the table, and posted the images to YouTube. The video is available to watch here (Warning: Very Graphic).
Bambuser released Al-Sayed's final message, which was spellchecked and given some clarifications.
Babaamr is facing a genocide right now, Al-Sayed wrote. I will never forgive you for your silence. You all have just give us your words but we need actions. However our hearts will always be with those who risk their life for our freedom. I know what we need! We need campaigns everywhere inside Syria and outside Syria, and now we need all people in front of all embassies all over the world. In a few hours there will be NO place called BabaAmr and I expect this will be my last message and no one will forgive you who talked but didn't act.
Born in 1985, Al-Sayed leaves behind a wife and a one-year-old baby girl named Maryam.
A family has lost a husband and father, the world has lost a very brave man fighting for democracy in Syria and an opportunity to get LIVE footage from inside Homs, Syria, showing the brutality, killing and terror exercised by dictator Assad and his armed forces, Bambuser said.
Bambuser reported on Feb. 16 that Syria had blocked access to its site, especially after the BBC and CNN picked up live streams from various citizens from Homs.
The Syrian government had already attempted to cripple Syrian communications between protesters in July by shutting down Syria's Internet networks. The government also unplugged the 3G mobile networks, as well as the majority of independent Internet service providers around the country. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has also banned most foreign media from entering the country to report on the protests. Even the iPhone, which was the tool of choice for activists to document the killings and protests, has been banned in Syria.
The UN believes that more than 4,000 Syrian civilians have been killed by their own government since March, even though the protests officially began on Jan. 26. November was the deadliest month since the uprising began, with at least 950 people killed in raids, gun battles, and other forms of violence.