EU demands probe into death of French journalist in Syria

11th January 2012, Comments 0 comments

The European Union's top diplomat Catherine Ashton on Wednesday condemned the killing of French television journalist Gilles Jacquier in Syria and demanded a rapid investigation.

"The High Representative calls for a rapid investigation to clarify the circumstances leading to this tragedy," a statement by Ashton's press office said of the death of the France 2 reporter in the city of Homs.

Jacquier is the first Western reporter to die in Syria since the anti-regime protests erupted in March.

"The Syrian authorities have a responsibility to guarantee the safety of journalists in their country," the statement said.

"The press must be allowed to carry out its vital role of providing independent information on events in Syria without fear of violence or repression."

An AFP photographer at the scene said Jacquier died when a shell exploded amid a group of around 15 journalists covering demonstrations on a visit organised by the authorities.

Several other people were reported wounded, including a Belgian journalist and a Dutch photographer.

© 2012 AFP

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