Democracy Now! doesn’t belong to any corporation, government or political party. You’re the reason we exist—and that means we need your help to produce our truth-seeking, independent news. If 200 people donate to Democracy Now! today, it will unlock a special, one-time gift of $50,000 from a generous donor in honor of our 28th anniversary. Don’t delay—please make your contribution right now! Every dollar counts. In these times of climate chaos, rising authoritarianism and war, Democracy Now! is relying on you more than ever to hold the powerful to account and amplify the voices of the scholars, scientists, journalists, activists, artists and everyday people who are working to save democracy—and the planet. Thank you so much for doing your part.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Syrian Filmmaker Who Appeared on Democracy Now! Killed in Homs While Training Local Activists

Web ExclusiveJune 04, 2012

Democracy Now! is saddened to report that one of our past guests, Bassel Shahade, was killed last Monday while he worked on a documentary and trained media activists in Homs, Syria.

Our producers first met Shahade at Syracuse University, where he was a Fulbright scholar studying filmmaking. He later appeared on Democracy Now!, speaking from Damascus after he had just returned from filming in Homs. At the time, he asked only to be identified by his first name for security reasons.

“The violence in the city of Homs is like — what I saw the last week I was there … like, it’s threatening to turn into like almost a civil war,” Bassel Shahade said Dec. 28, 2011. “A heavy crackdown on the city, punishing the rising area and killing the civilians, is forcing the locals to form like an armed resistance to the regime’s forces.”

Shahade went on to describe what it was like to film in Homs. “I went and shot some [footage] this week. It was like I was holding a weapon with me. Like if they discovered this camera in any way, I will be… in total danger.”

At the time of his death, reportedly from a missile attack on Homs, Shahade had been training local activists in filming and editing techniques. His colleagues, who asked not to use their names for security reasons, said they “admired his bravery,” and noted that, “everyone who knew Bassel respected and appreciated him. I cannot put him into words.”

Shahade’s friends told Democracy Now! that his family was prevented from attending a service for him “when a huge amount of security men surrounded the area and regime supporters staged a pro-regime demonstration. Activists were arrested, intimidated and beaten.”

After his funeral was forcibly cancelled, Shahade’s mother told his friends that the regime, “feared her son when he was alive, and even in his death.”

Click here to see all of Democracy Now’s reporting on Syria.

Related Story

StoryFeb 13, 2023“Crisis on Top of a Crisis”: Syrians Displaced by War Now Dealing with Earthquake Devastation
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation