On 26 January 2016, Mustafa Hassa was murdered in Deiz ez-Zor. The 28 year old was a journalist who was working for the Shaam News Network before the city fell to Daesh. He then remained in the city as an independent journalist despite the potential threats to his life. In this capacity he sent photographs and information concerning military movements to Human Rights Watch. He had previously documented the human rights violations of the Assad regime for various television stations.
Hassa was targeted by Daesh who accused him of “treason” and working for the west by giving information and coordinates to hostile groups. He was abducted and after refusing to swear allegiance to the group was brutally executed. Members of Daesh placed an explosive device in a camera around his neck – symbolising his work as a journalist – and then detonated it.
On the same day Daesh executed four other journalists in the city of Deiz ez-Zor in similarly cruel fashion. All of these killings were published on social media by the organisation in an attempt to silence future dissent and reinforce their brutally totalitarian regime.