Iranian TV reporter killed in Turkey car crash 1 day after 'spying accusations'
A Lebanese-American reporter working for Iranian channel, Press TV, Serena Shim has been killed in a car crash in Turkey, following her reports of accusations from Turkey’s intelligence agency that she had been “spying.”
— Shabbir R Hassanally (@shabbirh) October 20, 2014
“Our correspondent Serena Shimhas been killed near the Turkey-Syria border. Serena was killed in a reported car accident when she was returning from a report scene...their car collided with a heavy vehicle,” a Press TV broadcast stated on Monday. Shim had also been the mother of two young children.
The driver of the vehicle was subsequently arrested, according to Turkish news agency Hurriyet, citing the Turkish Doğan News Agency. Press TV disputed this, alleging that both driver and vehicle have disappeared.
— Press TV UK (@Presstvuk) October 20, 2014
Press TV has additionally expressed suspicion, implying that it
may not have been an accident. “Just a couple of days ago
she had been threatened by Turkish intelligence,” the
Shim had been returning to her hotel after reporting from Suruç – a rural district near the Syrian border, where a many foreign journalists are based. They are covering news from the Syrian northeastern border town of Kobani, under siege by Islamic State militants for the past month due to its strategic importance.
She had expressed fears for her own safety; her death on Sunday came a day after she reported receiving threats from the Turkish intelligence agency (MİT), saying they had accused her of spying.
“The Turkish intelligence agency has now accused our correspondent Serena Shim of being a spy,” said a Press TV report on Saturday.
“I’m very surprised at this accusation – I even thought of approaching Turkish intelligence because I have nothing to hide,” Shim said in the broadcast on Saturday.
“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,” she said.
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 militants crossing the Turkish border and was one of the few reporters focusing on the matter.
“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,” she said.
— Hamid Farajollahi (@HamiFaraj) October 19, 2014
Social Media tributes have been pouring in for the journalist after Press TV's request that
she be remembered.
— Lizzie Phelan (@LizziePhelan) October 20, 2014