Journalist victims of Mideast violence honoured in UAE


An audience at Sheikh Mohammad’s Ramadan “majlis” earlier heard Gardner’s account of the June 2004 attack in Riyadh that left him wheelchair-bound.

A fluent Arabic speaker and Al Qaeda expert, the British journalist was shot by suspected Islamist extremists and his Irish cameraman, Simon Cumbers, was killed at the height of attacks against Westerners in Saudi Arabia.

Shidiac, who hosts a political talk show and was badly wounded in September 2005 by a bomb placed in her car in north Beirut, said she had been the victim of “state terrorism” practised by some Arab regimes.

It was an apparent reference to Syria, which has been blamed for a string of killings and attempted killings of political opponents of its hold on Lebanon. Damascus denies the charges.

Two prominent Lebanese journalists with the daily An-Nahar whose killings were blamed on Syria – MP Gibran Tueni, killed in a December 2005 car bombing, and Samir Kassir, killed by a car bomb in June that year – were also honoured.

Others were journalists with the satellite news channel Al-Arabiya hit in Iraq – including Atwar Bahjat, killed in February 2006, Ali Al-Khatib, killed along with a photographer in March 2004, and Jawad Kazem, who was victim of a June 2005 attack that left him bound to a wheelchair.

According to figures posted on the website of international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, 75 journalists have been killed so far this year, 43 of them in Iraq, compared to 85 last year.


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