The U.S. Doesnt Seem To Want To Talk About Serena Shim
Serena Shim (Serena Ali Suhaim; October 10, 1985 – October 19, 2014) was an American journalist for Press TV. While covering the Siege of Kobanê as a war correspondent, she was allegedly killed in a car crash. Her employer called the accident “suspicious” as she was killed two days after Turkey accused her of spying.
Turkey accuses PressTV correspondent of spying
The Turkish government is preventing some journalists from reporting the developments in the border region. The Turkish intelligence agency has now accused our correspondent Serena Shim of spying.
Serena has been reporting from the Turkish border near Kobani. She said the accusations might be due to her coverage of Turkey’s stance on ISIL atrocities in Kobani and the recent protests in Turkey.
A Twibbon Campaign has been started for Twitter and Facebook to honor the memory of Ms. Serena Shim
Petition for the U.S. to launch a full investigation into death of Journalist Serena Shim
Serena Shim was a born and raised citizen American citizen. She was a reporter for Press TV in Lebanon, Iraq and the Ukraine. She died on October 19, 2014.
In October 2014, Shim was sent to Turkey on a mission to cover the ISIL conflict. During her investigations for her job Shim claimed that ISIL fighters were being transported humanitarian aid of World Food Organizations and other NGO’s en route from Syria to Turkey, adding she had footage to prove her claim. She also claimed Turkey was helping ISIL.
After reporting she had a story forthcoming she was accused of by MIT in Turkey of being a spy. Days later she was involved in a suspicious accident AFTER being threatened by Turkish intelligence. This petition is important because there is media blackout in the United States over this incident. Also, no independent investigation was conducted by the U.S. over her death. This petition requests that one be done due to the threats given by Turkish intel on Serena’s life.
The government has not contacted her family to offer condolences or to present their findings in the death of this American journalist.
Her family asks for Justice
Be her voice for the truth
|Born||October 10, 1985
|Died||October 19, 2014
Suruç, Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey
|Cause of death||Car accident|
|Resting place||Bourj el-Barajneh, Lebanon|
|Other names||Serena Ali Suhaim|
|Education||American University of
Science and Technology
|Alma mater||Clarenceville High School|
Serena Shim, an American citizen of Lebanese origin, was born the daughter of Judith Poe and her Lebanese father around 1985. She was raised in Dearborn and Livonia and her family lived in Detroit, Michigan, United States. As a child, she attended Lowrey Elementary School in Dearborn and later went to Clarenceville High School in Livonia. She attended college at the American University of Science and Technology, Beirut, Lebanon. She was married to Ibrihim Shim and the couple had a son and a daughter.
Shim was a 29-years old when she was killed in Turkey. Her funeral ceremony was held on October 22 in a hussainia in Bourj el-Barajneh before she was buried in a cemetery in the same district. A memorial service was held in Dearborn.
After her education, she worked for a media company in Beirut. Shim covered reports for Press TV in Lebanon, Iraq, Ukraine and Turkey.
Covering the siege of Kobanê
Accusation of spying by Turkey
On October 17, Shim told Press TV that the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) had accused her of “spying”. She stated that it is “probably due to some of the stories she had covered about Turkey’s stance on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants in Kobanê“. She had reported that ISIL militants being smuggled over the Turkish border into Syria on trucks bearing the symbols of NGOs like the “World Food Organisation”. Shim, said on air she’s “a bit frightened” by what MİT “might use against me.”
The Siege of Kobanî was launched by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also known as ISIL, ISIS, or Daesh) militants on 13 September 2014, in order to capture the Kobanî Canton and its main city of Kobanî (also known as Kobanê or Ayn al-Arab) in northern Syria, in the de facto autonomous region of Rojava.
By 2 October 2014, ISIL succeeded in capturing 350 Kurdish villages and towns within the vicinity of Kobanî, generating a wave of some 300,000 displaced Kurds, who fled across the border into Turkey‘s Şanlıurfa Province. By January 2015, this had risen to 400,000. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), coordinated as part of the Euphrates Volcano joint operations room, were later joined by further Free Syrian Army (FSA) reinforcements, heavily armed Peshmerga of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and American and Arab airstrikes providing air support.
On 26 January 2015, the YPG, along with the FSA and Peshmerga reinforcements and the continued US-led airstrikes, began to retake the city, driving ISIL into a steady retreat. The city of Kobanî was fully recaptured on 27 January; however, most of the remaining villages in the Kobanî Canton remained under ISIL control. Kurdish militia along with allied Arab armed groups backed by further airstrikes, then made rapid advances in rural Kobanî, with ISIL withdrawing 25 km from the city of Kobanî by 2 February. By late April 2015, ISIL had lost almost all of the villages it had captured in the Canton, but maintained control of a few dozen villages it seized in the northwestern part of the Ar-Raqqah Governorate.
In late June 2015, ISIL launched a new offensive against the city, killing at least 233 civilians.
During the Syrian Civil War, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) took over Kobanî on 19 July 2012. Since July 2012, the city has been under Kurdish control, while the YPG and Kurdish politicians exercise autonomy for the area they consider part of Syrian Kurdistan. On 2 July 2014, the city and the surrounding villages came under attack from fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
She died on 19 October 2014 in a car crash on her way back to her hotel. She was returning to Suruç with her driver and camera operator Judy Irish in a rental car when the car collided with a cement mixer. Shim survived the crash, but died of a heart attack after being taken to an undisclosed location. Her co-worker Irish was injured and taken to Suruç State Hospital.
The vehicle driver was subsequently arrested. Press TV disputed this, alleging that both driver and vehicle “have disappeared” and her death is “suspicious”.
Şanlıurfa Governor İzzettin Küçük denied Press TV’s claims and called them “completely baseless” and “attempts to put Turkey in a difficult situation”. Küçük said a detailed statement would be made after the investigations.
Serena Shim – What She Said
This video provides the core of the controversy surrounding Press TV reporter Serena Shim and her unfortunate death: Her witnessing of the transportation of militants from Turkey into Syria in Western NGO vehicles, such as the World Food Organization.
Press TV is “affiliated” with IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting). IRIB is, according to wikipedia, state-owned but independent.
Things to consider: Press TV is supposedly independent from the Iranian government. However, we should be critical of all media outlets with links (especially funding) to any state.
That being said, Serena Shim’s death is not being commented on in the mainstream Western media (apart from a few stories here and there that do not get the repeated coverage that, say, the recent Paris Attacks or the new Star Wars film have). This may suggest either that the report is completely genuine and the lack of reporting is a cover-up for what she saw (ISIS being transported in Western NGO trucks).
Or it may suggest that Western media is reluctant to draw attention to the story for some other reason, perhaps because her death and the story is a hoax or they simply don’t think it’s worth reporting.
All these scenarios are possible and I do no think it unlikely that her report is genuine and that her death was intentional. However, it is hard to know what exactly she saw without the images.
From Fox News.com:
Family suspects foul play in death of US journalist in Turkey
Published November 07, 2014
The mother of an Lebanese-American journalist killed in Turkey while working for an Iranian news agency suspects foul play in the death of her daughter, who perished in what Turkish officials say was a traffic accident.
Serena Shim, a U.S. citizen from Michigan and mother of two, was working for Iran’s state-owned network Press TV when she was killed after the rental car she was riding in collided with a cement mixer Oct. 26 in the Turkish town of Suruc, near the Turkish-Syrian border. The accident came just days after Shim said she had been threatened by Turkish intelligence services, who accused her of being a spy.
“I believe my daughter gave her life for the truth,” Judy Poe, Shim’s mother, told FoxNews.com Friday from her home in Harrison Township, Mich. “I absolutely suspect foul play.”
Poe insisted her daughter’s death was “no accident,” and called on the U.S. and Iranian governments to investigate the crash. Poe, who claims she was in regular contact with Shim, said her 29-year-old daughter had been threatened by Turkish officials after reporting ISIS militants were being smuggled back and forth across the Syrian-Turkish border in the back of aid vehicles.
Poe did not elaborate on who, specifically, could have been involved, saying her daughter “feared for her life and had been threatened.”
In a televised report days before she was killed, Shim said, “I am very surprised at this accusation [of espionage]. I’ve even thought of actually approaching Turkish intelligence and — because I have nothing to hide — I’ve never done anything aside from my job and I’d like to make that apparent to them.”
“However, I am a bit worried because as you know, and as the viewers know, that Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists,” Shim said. “So I am a bit frightened about what they might use against me.”
At the time of her death, Shim was covering the ongoing war between Iraqi Kurdish forces and ISIS militants for control of the strategic Syrian town of Kobani. Shim was killed while traveling with a female cousin along a one-way, three-lane highway in Turkey’s Urfa Province, according to her mother. Her cousin, who was driving Shim’s car, did not sustain life-threatening injuries.
Photographs of the crash in Turkish media reports show what appears to be Shim’s vehicle in a head-on collision with a large cement truck — despite traveling along a one-way highway.
The images, Poe claims, show a “shoddy job” that “tell us everything,” suggesting the scene was staged to look like an accident.
An article published on Press TV’s website reports Shim was killed in a “suspicious car accident” near the Turkey-Syria border. Her employer wrote she was traveling to her hotel after reporting in Suruc when her rental car “collided with a heavy vehicle.”
Neither the U.S. State Department nor the Turkish government have contacted Poe about her daughter’s death, she said. The U.S. Embassy in Turkey called Shim’s husband seven days after she was buried to “inquire if her body had arrived in Lebanon,” according to Poe. Shim was buried in Beirut on Oct. 22.
“I want to know what happened to my daughter,” Poe said. “I want at least an attempt from the Iranian government, which owns Press TV, and the U.S. government to investigate what happened in Turkey.”
Turkish media outlets, meanwhile, are reporting that Poe’s cousin, identified as Judy Irish, was responsible for the crash. An official report obtained by Hurriyet Daily News claims Irish was the “sole culprit” and the truck driver, identified as Şükrü Salan, was not in any way responsible — a conclusion Shim’s family does not accept.
Izzettin Kucuk, a regional governor, was quoted as saying the allegations against Turkish intelligence involvement in the crash are “completely baseless.” He told Hurriyet Daily News the accusations were “attempts to put Turkey in a difficult situation.”
The State Department told FoxNews.com it “does not conduct investigations into deaths overseas.”
“We do closely monitor all foreign government law enforcements’ investigations into deaths of U.S. citizens overseas,” a State Department official said. “Likewise, in some cases, FBI may choose to assist a foreign government, upon the foreign government’s request, or investigate whether a death may violate U.S. law.”
Poe described the loss of her daughter, whom she affectionately called “Sassy,” as painful “beyond words.”
Shim was born in Michigan and raised in both Dearborn and Livonia, where she graduated from Clarenceville High School. She went on to attend the American University of Technology in Lebanon, where her biological father lives.
“She made a choice to expose the truth and sacrificed being away from her children,” Poe said of Shim, who left behind a 2-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy.
“She had such a great sense of humor,” Poe said. “She was very grateful to be able to do all the good that she did.”
Thank you Fox News.com
RIP Serena Shim: Petition For US Investigation Into Death of American Citizen Journalist
Serena Shim was a born and raised citizen American citizen. She was a reporter for Press TV in Lebanon, Iraq and the Ukraine. She died on October 19, 2014.
In October 2014, Shim was sent to Turkey on a mission to cover the ISIL conflict. During her investigations for her job Shim claimed that ISIL fighters were being transported humanitarian aid of World Food Organizations and other NGO’s en route from Syria to Turkey, adding she had footage to prove her claim. She also claimed Turkey was helping ISIL. After reporting she had a story forthcoming she was accused of by MIT in Turkey of being a spy. Days later she was involved in a suspIcious accident AFTER being threatened by Turkish intelligence. This petition is important because there is media blackout in the United States over this incident. Also, no independant investigation was conducted by the U.S. over her death. This petition requests that one be done due to the threats given by Turkish intel on Serena’s life.
The government have not contacted her family to offer condolences or to present their findings in the death of this American journalist.
Her family asks for Justice.
Who killed Serena Shim
Who killed Serena Shim
Mystery of American journalist killed in car crash in Turkey… just days after she claimed intelligence services had threatened her over her coverage of siege of Kobane
- Journalist Serena Shim killed in car crash in southern Turkey over weekend
- On Friday she expressed concerns she may be arrested by Turkish officials
- Told Press TV that local intelligence agents had accused her of being a spy
- She earlier claimed to have seen ISIS militants being smuggled into Turkey
- Terrorists were travelling from Syria in the back of aid vehicles, she claimed
An American journalist has been killed in a car crash in Turkey just days after claiming she claimed the Turkish intelligence services had threatened her over her reporting of the siege of Kobane.
Serena Shim, who worked for Iran’s state-owned Press TV as Turkey correspondent, died in the city of Suruc after the car in which she was travelling reportedly collided with a ‘heavy vehicle’.
Shim’s death came just days after she spoke on camera of her fears of being arrested, claiming Turkish intelligence agents had accused her of spying after one of her reports suggested ISIS militants were being smuggled back and forth over the Syrian border in the back of aid vehicles.
#2 Judith Poe Mother of Serena Shim (Full Interview)
Tims Full interview with Judith Poe (Mother of Serena Shim) @JudithPoe
Shim, an American citizen of Lebanese origin, had been working in Turkey for Press TV – the Iranian state-owned television network.
In a report published on the company’s website, it is claimed she had been in a rental car on the way back to her hotel in the town of Suruc in Urfa Province when the ‘suspicious’ accident took place.
Neither the ‘heavy vehicle’ nor the driver involved in the crash have been located after the incident, Press TV claimed, adding that her parents ‘refused to believe’ the crash had been an accident and are planning to pursue the matter legally.
Press TV’s account of the crash has been somewhat disputed by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News, however, who said the vehicle involved was a cement mixer and that the as-yet-unidentified driver had been arrested at the scene.
Due to its strategic location close to the Syrian border, Suruc is where much of the international media covering the crisis in Kobane has been based over the past few weeks.
Only last Friday Shim was interviewed on camera by Press TV about her fears of being arrested by Turkish intelligence agencies.
In the short interview she alleged that she had been approached and accused of spying after a report in which he said she claimed to have received images of Islamic State terrorists being smuggled over the Turkey-Syria in vehicles belonging to the World Food Organization and other aid groups.
Shim described herself as ‘surprised’ at the accusation, ‘because I have nothing to hide and I have never done anything aside my job.’
NOW ISIS IS OPERATING INSIDE TURKEY: MILITANTS FAIL IN ATTEMPT TO KIDNAP SYRIAN REBEL LEADER IN CITY 20 MILES FROM BORDER
Islamic State militants have shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander inside Turkey, it has been claimed, raising yet more questions of Ankara’s commitment to defeating the terror group.
Abu Issa, the leader of a group fighting ISIS in the besieged city of Kobane, and his 20-year-old son Ammar, were ambushed by jihadists in the southeastern Turkish town of Urfa on Friday afternoon.
The pair – who had been attending a meeting with Turkish officials – were snatched from their car in an apparent kidnapping attempt, after the driver of their car allegedly simply switched off the engine when confronted by four heavily armed ISIS militants at a roadblock.
After being seized they were driven at high speed towards the Syrian border and only managed to escape when one of the third-party smugglers ISIS uses to transport people and weapons into Syria bailed on the plan after spotting Turkish soldiers.
None of the Islamic State attackers wore masks and two of them were known to Abu Issa from fighting in Kobane, his aides in the Thuwar Raqqa rebel group told the Telegraph.
Using an alternative acronym for the terror group, spokesman Ahmed Abdul Khader said: ‘Isil cars blocked the road ahead of them, and four armed men grabbed them from the vehicle. It was 6.30pm.’
A matching account of the kidnapping was reportedly given to the newspaper by another military commander in the group, Abo Ayham.
He claimed that Abu Issa’s driver – who was also his most trusted advisor – had been in on the plot, driving the rebel leader into a quiet back road where the extremist were waiting, refusing to turn the vehicle around when ordered to do so, and turning off the car’s engine rather than trying to escape.
The news raises yet more questions about Turkey’s commitment to the international fight against ISIS, after Ankara drew a great deal of international criticism for refusing to intervene to help Kurdish fighters battling militants just 200 yards over the border in Kobane.
The killing of Serena Shim and the ‘suicide’ of former BBC journalist Jacky Sutton
The Burning Blogger of Bedlam
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 10:13 UTC
Exactly a year ago – on October 19th, 2014 – the journalist Serena Shim was killed after reporting from Kobani in Syria as a war correspondent. Her death was almost certainly the work of the Turkish intelligence community. It’s a rather remarkable, and depressing, ‘coincidence’ that just as I was sitting down to put together a post in tribute to her, I’ve just come across news that another journalist and activist, Jacky Sutton, has just been found dead in Turkey – exactly a year to the date of Serena Shim’s suspicious death.
Former BBC journalist, Jacky Sutton (aged 50) is reported to have been found dead in a toilet in Istanbul’s main airport. The British journalist (pictured below), who had been working as Iraq director for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), was in Turkey en route to Irbil in Northern Iraq. Turkish sources have allegedly suggested that she has killed herself after missing a flight connection – a rather poor, even insulting, suggestion, which colleagues of Ms Sutton are dismissing. In her role as acting Iraq head of the (London-based) IWPR, Jackie Sutton’s role has been to support local journalism in countries affected by war and crisis. As The Guardian notes, the organisation’s previous Iraq director, Ammar Al Shahbander, was killed in a car-bomb in Baghdad on 2nd May this year. It is claimed the British woman’s body has been found hanging from boot laces.
Sudipto Mukerjee, a director with the UN Development Programme, has said, according to The Independent; “Very difficult to believe that my colleague in Iraq, staffer and seasoned traveller Jacky Sutton committed suicide.” Ms Sutton had, among other things, previously worked for the BBC World Service, reporting from Africa, the Middle East and London.
As I said, this latest suspicious death in Turkey comes on the precise one-year anniversary of the equally suspicious death of Serena Shim, who was killed in a car ‘accident’ on the Turkey-Syria border in 2014, and again illustrates both the dangers faced by truth-seeking journalists and the extent to which a corrupt Turkish state stands in need of investigation by international authorities.
Serena Shim (October 10th 1985 – October 19th 2014) was an American-Lebanese journalist. The car ‘accident’ in which she was killed hadn’t taken place inside the dangerous war-zone she had been reporting from, but had occurred on her way back to ‘safety’. It is also highly significant that Shim had very clearly expressed her concerns for her safety just prior to the ‘accident’.
Shim had described her harassment by security forces as particularly unusual, noting that she had dealt with police and intelligence services before in various different countries, but that the Turkish activity was a targeted response to something very specific. She had said her own instinct was that Turkish security people were tracking her not because of her reporting in Kobani but on account of possible matters of far greater, more damaging, information she might’ve exposed concerning a concerted geo-political conspiracy.
On October 17th last year, just two days before her death, Shim had told Press TV that the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) had accused her of “spying”. She stated it was “probably due to some of the stories she had covered” about Turkey’s role in the Islamic State terror group and particularly in regard to the militants in Kobani. It was Shim who had reported on ISIL militants being smuggled across the Turkish border into Syria in trucks deceptively bearing the symbols of NGOs like the World Food Organisation. The 29 year-old Shim had even said on air that she was “a bit frightened” by the danger posed to her by Turkey’s MİT.
She died on October 19th 2014, having been on the way back to her hotel. She had been returning to Suruç with her cousin Judy Irish in a rental car which then collided with a heavy vehicle (a cement mixer, according to Turkish media). Supposedly, Shim died in the crash while her cousin Judy Irish was injured and taken to Suruç State Hospital. According to the Turkish Doğan News Agency, the driver of the heavy vehicle was subsequently arrested. Shim’s employer at the time, Press TV, disputed this, alleging that both driver and vehicle had “disappeared”.
There was also the curious report that Shim and Irish were for some reason taken to different hospitals after the crash.
Shim’s sister appears to have been in no doubt that the journalist was murdered for various reasons. “She caught them bringing in ISIS high-ranked members into Syria from Turkey into camps, which are supposed to be Syrian refugee camps,” Fatmeh Shima said. “I think it was planned and plotted. There’s no pictures of Sassy in the car. There is not one scratch on my sister’s body. They took them to two different hospitals. Why? Why were there Army men on the ground, why weren’t there police?”
Serena Shim’s sister complained that the family received inconsistent reports about the specifics surrounding her death. “There are so many different stories. The first story was that Serena’s car was hit by a heavy vehicle who proceeded to keep on driving,” Fatemeh Shim told RT, also complaining about Turkish authorities’ inability to find the vehicle or the driver.
Fox News also quoted Shim’s mother as saying that the scene looked “staged” and that her death wasn’t an accident.
Her tragic death came just two days after a video interview in which she claimed Turkish intelligence agents had threatened her after her report on the ISIL extremist jihadists being smuggled into Syria from Turkey.
In her own words; ‘I am a bit worried because… Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists, so I am a bit frightened about what they might use against me.’ She continues, ‘We were some of the first people on the ground, if not the first people to give that story of those Takfiri militants going in through the Turkish border. It was very apparent that they were Takfiri militants by their beards and by the clothes that they wore and they were going in there with NGO trucks and I just find it very odd, they went to several local residents here and asked about me. The other reports that I had done were about at the time, the so called Free Syrian Army going in, and catching these Takfiri militants and getting the passport stamps and getting firsthand information that they were actually inside while Turkey was still hiding them.’
‘I think this has a lot to do with it and I think they want to know why I’m back,’ Serena Shim said. ‘I’ve been stopped by them before, but not necessarily to this level, just by police basically. But for the intelligence to actually look for me, that’s rather odd, so I think that they’re trying to get the word out to journalists to be careful so much as to what they say…’
Within two days of this report, Serena Shim was dead.
No independent investigation has been conducted by the United States over her death, despite her US citizenship.
Serena Shim also wasn’t the first journalist affiliated with Press TV to have been killed. Maya Nasser was shot dead by a sniper while on airdelivering a report from Damascus, Syria, in 2012. A statement posted to Nasser’s Facebook page claimed that “armed terrorists” had simply driven up in vehicles and additional snipers shot from the rooftops of nearby buildings.
The 29 year-old Serena Shim was married and had two young children. Her tragic death was almost certainly an unlawful assassination designed firstly to silence her from reporting further on Turkey’s involvement in the rise of ISIL/Daesh, and secondly to act as a violent warning to other journalists to stay away from trying to expose the true nature of the war in Syria and the cynical manufacturing of the ‘Islamic State’ for geo-political purposes. The United States’ lack of interest in pursuing the matter of her death also suggests the US is complicit in that warning too.
In October 2014 Serena Shim herself joined the roll-call of brave journalists over the years who’ve risked – and ultimately sacrificed – their lives for the sake of uncovering the truth. Her bravery is all the more meaningful in the context of how most mainstream, corporate-owned journalism has been either reluctant or unwilling to dig deeper beyond the superficial surface of the ‘ISIS’ story and report more honestly about the origins of the crisis.
Certainly at the time of her death this time last year, mainstream journalists were almost entirely conforming to the approved corporate/political script, even if more meaningful journalism has started to gradually emerge in isolated spurts between then and now. But Shim was one of the few who was risking life and limb in dangerous territory to report on what was really going on. And she paid with her life.
Reporters Without Borders has labelled Turkey the ‘world’s largest prison for journalists’. In the supposedly democratic nation with EU membership aspirations, press freedom is pretty much non-existent. In an atmosphere of intimidation and fear, Turkey imprisons more journalists than any other modern nation; in spite of this tight control of information, people like Serena Shim and others have nevertheless managed to expose Turkey’s criminal role in supporting the Islamic State terror group and sustaining/funding the War in Syria that has killed over a quarter-of-a-million Syrians.
Meanwhile the killing of journalists and activists, either as tragic consequences of reporting from danger zones or by deliberate, targeted assassination, is an ongoing crime all over the world. The highly suspicious death of Jacky Sutton in a Turkish airport, just announced this evening, demonstrates that Serena Shim wasn’t the first and won’t be the last journalist to lose their life in the field, and that she is part of a long line of journalists who’ve been killed for various reasons over the years, including the likes of Max Hastings, Hunter S. Thompson, Garry Webb, Daniel Pearl, Maya Nasser and many others. According to the International Press Institute, 64 journalists have been killed so far in 2015.
This, this, this and this are all examples of the very real, mortal dangers journalists and photo-journalists face when putting themselves on the line for the sake of information or the sake of exposing inconvenient truths.
Change.org is petitioning the United States Department of Justice to investigate Shim’s death; you can add your signature to the petition here. Anonymous also launched #OpSerenaShim in memory of the deceased journalist.
#OpSerenaShim Press Release (October 2015)
We are Anonymous.
It has come to our attention that Serena Shim, a correspondent reporter for PressTV has died of suspicious circumstances, only two days after Turkish intelligence accused her of being a spy, and two days after she went on air claiming to have proof of militants being transported in NGO trucks through Turkey.
The citizens demands for a full transparent investigation into the death of this U.S. citizen have been ignored by the U.S. State department, as well as President Obama.
The United States has refused to even give condolences to Serena Shims family.
With the passing of one year from Serenas death, with no investigation and not a mention about her death, you Leave Anonymous no choice, but to begin our own investigation.
We will publicly release all information to the people.
Mr. Obama, you claim to have a war on terror, but allow your allies to aid your so called enemies. You deny the American people the truth. You allow Turkish forces to attack citizens instead if Isis militants, and say nothing to denounce it. You arrest and prosecute our Anonymous Brothers and sisters who attack Isis and take them offline. Your administration is known for the exile, prosecution, and jailing of whistle blowers and others who spread the truth to American citizens.
So we ask you, whose side are you really on?
Serena Shim was one of us, she was a truth seeker who you allowed to be silenced, and her murderers to be free from any prosecution.
This will not be tolerated.
The truth will come out.
We will not rest until our sister, Serena Shim gets the justice she deserves.
We will not rest, until her family gets the answers they deserve.
We will make sure her death was not in vein.
We are now the voice of Serena Shim, and her voice will be heard.
We are Anonymous
We are legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget
Op Serena Shim #Engaged
As for this very unlikely explanation given by Turkish sources for the sudden suicide of Jacky Sutton,we will have to wait and see if British authorities push for a better explanation and if an investigation uncovers anything more. In her career, Jacky Sutton hasn’t been a stranger to danger and is not someone at all characterised as having been thin-skinned or emotionally vulnerable. This article here recounts much of her life in her own words.
As for Serena Shim, she was killed doing what American writer Walter Lipmann once called the ‘highest law’ in journalism – working to tell the truth and ‘shame the devil’. It might not be sufficient comfort to her friends, family or children, but it is ultimately the highest possible calling for any journalist.
Thank you The Burning Blogger of Bedlam
From Global Research:
ISIL Truth and the Suspicious Death of Journalist Serena Shim: Hypocritical Western Media Remains Silent
Serena Shim (Screenshot from youtube video by PressTV News Videos)
The suspicious death of US-born journalist Serena Shim, and the deafening silence on the story in the US, is merely the latest example of the blatant double standard employed by the Western media.
Shim, a 29 year old American journalist of Lebanese descent, had been covering the ongoing war in Syria, specifically the current battle between ISIS militants and Kurdish forces near the Syrian town of Kobani, from the Turkish-Syrian border. Shim was traveling in a rental car back to her hotel after reporting from the Turkish town of Suruc near the Syrian border, when the car was allegedly struck by a heavy vehicle, killing Shim.
While Turkish authorities quickly contended that her death was an accident, many around the world, including executives and senior staff members of Press TV – the Iranian news agency for which Shim was working – have expressed doubts about the circumstances of her death, describing it as“suspicious.” Such suspicions are clearly warranted as the alleged accident came just one day after Shim expressed fears for her own safety after receiving death threats from Turkish intelligence (MIT). In an interview with Press TV just after being accused of being a spy and receiving the threats, Shim stated:
“I’m very surprised at this accusation – I even thought of approaching Turkish intelligence because I have nothing to hide… I am a bit worried, because…Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists…so I am frightened about what they might use against me… We were some of the first people on the ground –if not the first people – to get that story of…militants going in through the Turkish border…I’ve got images of them in World Food Organization trucks. It was very apparent that they were militants by their beards, by the clothes they wore, and they were going in there with NGO trucks.”
This revealing interview highlights the fact that Shim, unlike many Western journalists reporting on the Syrian conflict, was actually involved in a serious investigation, including documenting the collusion between Turkish intelligence and militant extremists to smuggle fighters and weapons into Syria. While this aspect of the Syrian conflict has been documented by Reuters, the New York Times, and others, Shim was on the ground covering the story, getting documentary evidence including photos and video of the militants in NGO trucks, a blatant violation of international law. It is precisely this damning evidence of Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian war that likely sparked the death threats against her and, quite likely, led to her possible assassination.
Shim’s tragic death has sparked outrage, not to mention tremendous grief, from her family and colleagues who have called for a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of her death. Condolences and expressions of sorrow from around the world have come pouring in to both Press TV and the Shim family. However, quite conspicuously, there has been a near total media blackout in the West, especially in the United States, the country of which Shim was a citizen.
When Are Journalists’ Deaths Newsworthy?
In the wake of Shim’s death and the shameful lack of coverage it has received in the West, disturbing questions emerge as to the attitude of Western media toward the assaults, kidnappings, and killings and/or suspicious deaths of journalists. Specifically, major media outlets and their respective governments and corporate owners must explain why certain journalists’ deaths are international news stories sparking global outrage and serving as the pretexts for military engagement, while others are conveniently swept under the rug, receiving at best a passing mention.
The international outcry over the kidnapping and beheading of James Foley dominated the headlines for weeks, and served as the immediate justification for the US-led airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. Aside from glowing tributes to Foley from nearly every major media organization, and a memorial page dedicated to him and his fans established by Reporters Without Borders, even President Obama spoke of Foley, describing him as “a man who lived his work, who courageously told the stories of his fellow human beings, who was liked and loved by friends and family…We will do everything we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for.” Such high praise coming from the President himself demonstrates the political and social significance of Foley’s death for the US.
And yet, Serena Shim who, like Foley, was a US citizen receives no such coverage. There are no glowing tributes from news organizations, most of which haven’t even bothered to report on her suspicious death. There are few stories even mentioning the incident and, the few that there are, painstakingly attempt to frame the incident as an accident, validating the assertions of Turkish officials, despite there having been no investigation, and the more-than-coincidental death threats she had received just hours before. There has been no public statement as yet from Reporters Without Borders or any other press freedom organization charged with protecting and promoting freedom of the press and the universal protection of journalists. Why? What is the difference between Serena Shim and James Foley that explains the striking disparity in the media coverage and public outcry?
t’s What You Say and Who You Work For
Serena Shim’s death illustrates quite clearly the double standard applied by Western media and policymakers; Foley’s death was a national tragedy, Shim’s death a mere footnote at best. The inescapable fact is that this disparity is due not to whom they were, but rather who they worked for. Foley was a willing participant in the US-NATO war in Libya, “embedding” himself with the so called“rebels” who, thanks to a massive NATO bombing campaign that effectively destroyed Libyan military capabilities, participated in the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and the government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
Foley presented a picture of heroism and self-sacrifice on the part of the rebels, many of whom had direct links to al-Qaeda and global terrorist networks stretching from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia, portraying them as true patriots liberating their country of a brutal dictator. In effect, Foley was one of the chief propagandists for the NATO operation in Libya, shooting photographs that became central to the image Washington and NATO wanted to portray.
In stark contrast, Shim was working for Iran’s Press TV, a news outlet funded by the Iranian government which provides a counter-narrative to the one presented in the Western media. Press TV’s reportage has been critical of the international operation against Syria, including countless reports, debates, and analysis of the role of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Washington, Tel Aviv, and others in fomenting the war thus far.
Press TV has been deeply critical of US policy vis-à-vis Syria and Iraq, and has presented numerous reports questioning the role of international actors in those conflicts. Shim herself was killed just hours after breaking the news of militant extremists crossing the border into Syria with the assistance of Turkish intelligence, using World Food Program trucks. This bombshell story substantiated the countless other reports dating back to 2012 of Turkish intelligence’s involvement in precisely this sort of operation.
And so, it is clear that the media and government response to the death of journalists directly correlates to the kind of reporting being done. If you are journalist who works for a Western media outlet, and substantiates and propagates the Western narrative, then you are a hero and your death is a national tragedy that elicits a swift response. If, however, you are a journalist who works for a non-Western news organization, and is critical of the West and its policies and actions, then your death is simply not newsworthy and will be quickly forgotten. Such double standards, hypocrisy, and egregious immorality typify Western attitudes towards journalists and the role of the media.
Sadly, Not the First or Last Time
Perhaps the most appalling aspect of this story is the fact that Shim’s death is only the latest in a long line of journalists’ deaths in recent months and years that have been almost entirely ignored by the Western media. From Ukraine to Syria and Gaza, journalists have been killed in alarming numbers while their stories are suppressed in the West.
In Eastern Ukraine, a number of Russian journalists have been assaulted, kidnapped, tortured, and/or killed by the US-backed regime’s military and paramilitary forces. In June 2014, Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, both employed by Russia’s Rossiya TV channel, were killed near Lugansk. Despite repeated denials from the Kiev regime regarding the deliberate targeting of journalists, eyewitness accounts from the scene allege that the Russian journalists were specifically targeted by the Ukrainian forces. Viktor Denisov, the surviving member of the news crew, explained, “One hundred percent it was not accidental fire, it was an aimed action from the National Guards’ side.” Despite this eyewitness account, coupled with the shocking footage that Denisov obtained of the attack, there was almost no coverage of the incident in the international press.
Also in June 2014, Anatoly Klyan, a cameraman from Russia’s Channel One television, was killed by forces loyal to the US-backed regime in Kiev. Shot in the stomach while aboard a bus full of mothers of army conscripts that was shelled by Kiev’s military forces, Klyan died before he could make it to a hospital. While there were initial stories covering the incident in the Western media (mostly from British news outlets), there was no international outcry to protect journalists in Ukraine, no heightened scrutiny of the crimes of the Kiev military and paramilitary forces, no pressure exerted on President Poroshenko by his Western backers. One could be forgiven for thinking that the incident was quietly swept under the rug in hopes that it would be forgotten.
In August 2014, Rossiya Segodnya (formerly RIA Novosti) photojournalist Andrey Stenin was killed when the car he was travelling in was attacked by Ukrainian forces, along with a number of other cars carrying civilians out of the conflict zone. Stenin was reportedly missing for over a month until it was finally confirmed that he had been killed. While he was believed to have been kidnapped, there were some expressions of support and calls for his release, particularly from the Committee to Protect Journalists which has documented a number of crimes committed against journalists, especially Russian journalists, by Ukrainian authorities. However, beyond the professional community, there was decidedly little outcry, especially in the West where news of his disappearance and death went nearly unmentioned.
The deaths of these and other Russian journalists in Ukraine are, sadly, not the only attacks on non-Western journalists. Iran’s Press TV, which is now mourning the loss of Serena Shim, is all too familiar with this story. In September 2012, Press TV’s Damascus correspondent Maya Nasser was killed by a sniper while on air reporting on the attack on the Syrian army’s general staff headquarters. The fact that he was killed by a sniper, an obvious deliberate targeting of a journalist, should have made him a cause célèbre for media organizations around the world. And yet, they remained mostly silent because Nasser was not part of the Western media, and was instead reporting inconvenient facts that disputed the Western narrative of “moderate rebels” fighting against “the brutal dictator Assad.” The obvious lesson here is that journalists are legitimate targets if their reporting runs counter to the agenda of Washington and its allies.
Finally there is the tragic case of Gaza, a veritable killing field for journalists, where at least eight journalists were killed by Israeli forcesduring their war on Gaza in the summer of 2014. While the International Federation of Journalists lodged its formal protest with the United Nations against the targeting of its colleagues, and other organizations such as Al Haq conducted thorough investigations of the incidents, the issue was almost entirely ignored by Western media, especially US media which rather predictably provided a one-sided portrayal of events on the ground in Gaza. While much of the US media uncritically reported from the comfort and safety of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Amman, and other cities, Palestinian journalists were losing their lives to report the horror taking place on the ground in Gaza. The silence from Western media was deafening.
It is critical to reiterate the fact that the Western media, which is always so keen to trumpet its commitment to freedom of the press, among many others, is conspicuously silent on the deaths of colleagues who happen to work for non-Western outlets. It would seem that outrage is more a function of ideology than of genuine support for fellow journalists. In this way, the Western media makes itself complicit in the crimes. By abrogating their responsibility to objectively report the facts, not to mention stand in solidarity with fallen colleagues around the world, the Western media exposes itself as an appendage of the US-NATO imperial system.
‘My sister was murdered for speaking the truth’ – Serena Shim’s sister speaks out
Fatemeh Shim, sister of Serena Shim, the Press TV reporter who died in suspicious circumstances, talks to Going Underground host Afshin Rattansi about her sister’s death. She believes Turkish intelligence was involved in the death of her sister, whilst they blame her cousin, who was driving the car. She says her sister, reporting on collusion between Turkey and ISIS, was afraid of what might happen, and even went on air saying Turkish intelligence was looking for her and she was scared of what they might do.
She is shocked that Western media have not just failed to cover the story, but didn’t express their condolences either, and received no response from the American government. She thinks vice president Joe Biden retracted his comments about the problem of Turkey in the war against ISIS because there was a reaction from Turkey, in much the same way as their reaction to her sister was to murder her. She says she received no help from her government, no messages of support from them, when other countries have issues condolences and invitations.
She says other journalists should know it will be hard to get truth out when Western mass media is ‘spoon-feeding people what they want them to believe.’ She is relying on social media to get the word out about what happened, and hopes that will find justice for Serena. And she says that the American government response that they do not investigate deaths on foreign soil is false; the only death she sees them not investigating is her sisters.
‘No support, condolences from US’: Killed Press TV reporter’s sister raises questions about death
Serena Shim, a US citizen, was killed in a car crash on October 19, following her reports of accusations from Turkey’s intelligence agency that she had been “spying.” She had been covering the crisis in the besieged Syrian city of Kobani. Press TV channel called the accident “suspicious.”
Shim’s sister said the family received inconsistent reports about the death.
“There are so many different stories. The first story was that Serena’s car was hit by a heavy vehicle who proceeded to keep on driving,” Fatemeh Shim told RT.
She added that Turkey couldn’t find the vehicle nor could they find a driver.
“Two days later, surprisingly they [Turkish authorities] have found the vehicle and the driver and had pictures of the heavy vehicle heading my sister’s car.”
Mystery over US journalist death in Turkey: Accident or Murder?
The mystery surrounding the circumstances of the death of an Amercian journalist in Turkey is only deepening, as the investigation enters its first month. Serena Shim was working for Press TV when she was killed in a car crash. RT looks at why her final hours raise so many questions.
Fatemeh says every day her family comes “with new pictures of different degrees of damages that have happened to the car.”
“Serena and my cousin, who was the driver of the car, were taken to different hospitals. She was reported first dead at the scene, then later reports said that she passed away at the hospital 30 minutes later from heart failure. It’s just very confusing.”
Fatemeh says both she and Serena are US citizens, and were born and raised in America, but she feels they “have got no support, nor have we got condolences.”
RT requested a comment from the Turkish authorities, but we are yet to receive an answer.
RT’s Gayane Chichakyan asked a US State Department spokesperson if there is any update on the death of a US citizen and journalist under unclear circumstances.
Jeff Rathke replied, “[we] don’t have any information to share at this time.”
RT also obtained a personal message from Serena to her mother, which was one of her final recordings.
“Being killed is scary, Mom…going to jail is not scary. It sucks, but it’s not scary,” she said in the audio message.
In the meantime, the office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media at the OSCE told RT that Turkey is carrying out an investigation.
“The representative has been following the case since the first reports appeared about the car accident that claimed the life of journalist Serena Shim. According to information available to her office, the Turkish authorities have started investigation into the details of the car accident,” said Gunnar Vrang, from the office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.
Shim, who left behind two children, a two-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son, had expressed fears for her own safety, a day before her death she reported receiving threats from the Turkish intelligence agency (MİT), saying they had accused her of spying.
“I’m very surprised I’m even thought about approaching… As you know Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders… frightened by what they might use against me,” she said on the recording from October 17.
Shim had been reporting that IS militants had crossed the border from Turkey into Syria in trucks apparently affiliated with NGOs, some of which allegedly bore World Food Organization symbols. She claimed that she had received images from Islamic State militants crossing the Turkish border and was one of the few reporters focusing on the matter.