Ruqia Hassan: Isis executes first female citizen journalist in Raqqa, confirmed by 'Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently'

Some of her last words were: ‘When Isis arrest and kill me it’s ok because… it’s better than [living] in humiliation with Isis’

Kate Ng
Tuesday 05 January 2016 11:49 GMT
Citizen journalist Ruqia Hassan, who was executed by Isis earlier this month
Citizen journalist Ruqia Hassan, who was executed by Isis earlier this month (Facebook)

Isis has executed what is believed to be the first female citizen journalist for reporting inside its territory, Syrian media has reported.

The execution of Ruqia Hassan marks the fifth journalist who reported on Isis to be killed since October, according to Syrian journalism organisation Syria Direct.

Ms Hassan, who also went by the pseudonym Nisan Ibrahim on social media, was a independent reporter. Her death was confirmed by Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), a group exposing human rights abuses from within Syria.

Abu Mohammed, founder of RBSS, tweeted on Saturday that Ms Hassan’s last words were: “I’m in Raqqa and I received death threats, and when Isis [arrests] me and kills me it’s ok because they will cut my head and I have dignity its better than I live in humiliation with Isis [sic]”

One of her final posts on Facebook mocks Isis, also known as Islamic State, for banning Wi-Fi hotspots in the city of Raqqa. Her post, translated by Syria Direct, reads: "Go ahead and cut off our internet, our messenger pigeons won't complain."

The exact date of Ms Hassan’s execution is unknown, but her presence on social media stopped abruptly on July 21, 2015.

Arab news channel Al-Aan TV reported Isis informed Ms Hassan’s family of her execution three days ago on charges of “espionage”.

An independent journalist who was formerly with RBSS, Furat al-Wafaa, told Syria Direct that Ms Hassan frequently participated in “all of the revolution’s protests”.

He is quoted as saying: “Ruqia continuously challenged IS and often reported on air strikes on Raqqa as they happened.

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“IS always wants to keep the sword hovering over the people’s necks,” he said, when asked what Isis seeks to achieve by executing journalists accused of working with foreign media.

He added: “They want their fighters and supporters to know that the Islamic State is capable of taking revenge against those who speak against them.”

In December, Isis executed RBSS activist Naji Jerf, whose last work 'Islamic State in Aleppo' was a documentary exposing human rights violations committed in the city.

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