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Family of killed U.S. journalist Marie Colvin sues Syria

Journalist Marie Colvin

 The family of American journalist Marie Colvin who died in Syria in 2012 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in a U.S. court, accusing the Syrian government of deliberately killing her, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Homs in 2012 while reporting on the Syrian conflict, now in its sixth year.

The lawsuit, filed in Washington, said Syrian officials deliberately targeted rockets against a makeshift broadcast studio where Colvin and other reporters were living and working.

The lawsuit, to which the New York Times article provides an online link, said the attack was part of a plan orchestrated at the highest levels of the Syrian government to silence local and international media “as part of its effort to crush political opposition”.

Advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said it supported the lawsuit.

The group’s secretary-general, Christophe Deloire, said the group “hopes these efforts will help to expose the truth, namely that these journalists were deliberately targeted and killed because they were providing information about the Syrian army’s crimes against civilians.”

A murder and attempted murder investigation was launched in France in 2012 into the death of Ochlik and wounding of another journalist, Edith Bouvier, in the same attack.

Reporters Without Borders, as an interested party in the case, said it will submit the Colvinfamily’s U.S. lawsuit to the judge in charge of the French investigation on Monday.

Colvin and Ochlik were both prize-winning reporters of wars in the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere. The Britain-based Colvin, who lost an eye while working in Sri Lanka in 2001, was working for the Sunday Times at the time of her death.

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