Libya: Al Jazeera Cameraman Dies in Ambush

This post is a part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

An Al Jazeera cameraman, Ali Hassan Al Jaber from Qatar, was killed on 12 March in Libya, after a reporting team for the Arabic-language broadcaster was ambushed near the town of Benghazi. The news sparked an outpouring of emotion and support on Twitter for the slain cameraman.

Wadah Khanfar, the director general of the Al Jazeera Network, announced the death in a broadcast saying, “The network will not be silent after the death of our cameraman.” He said they would seek to prosecute the perpetrators.

One of the earliest tweets of the news was from Rawya Rageh, an Al Jazeera reporter:

@RawyaRageh: Dir of Al Jazeera Network says ambush that killed @AJArabic cameraman came after unprecedented campaign against network by #Gaddafi #Libya

A photo of the deceased was shared by @Ammr who works for Al Jazeera in Qatar:

Ali Hassan Al Jaber

Ali Hassan Al Jaber

@ammr: RT @Halawala: Allah yr7am Ali Hassan AlJaber, Qatari photographer martyred in Libya rest in peace

رحم الله شهيدنا علي حسن جابر

@Khanfar: God bless the martyr Ali Hassan Jabber.

Al Jabber is unfortunately not the first Al Jazeera employee to be killed while reporting.

Says Nashwa Nasreldin, a producer for sister network Al Jazeera English (AJE):

@nashwanasreldin: Allah yir7amak ya Ali. Now ur photo will join the others on the wall of #aljazeera HQ in doha& ur family join the others who lost loved ones

@nashwanasreldin: Their names are etched on a memorial outside the building &a small museum houses their rescued belongings. #aljazeera Gone in seconds.

@nashwanasreldin: There is a small community of wives&children who meet in doha at #alJazeera events. Each has lost a husband/father who worked there. Tragic.

Abdullah Mussa, a producer for AJE currently in Libya (and a friend of mine), adds:

@abdullahmussa: #aljazeera camera man shot dead in #Libya. Last spoke to him at breakfast this morning, he calmed me down and said don't worry #aja #aje

A day earlier, Mussa had posted a link to an AJE report from Libya, saying “The moment I nearly lost my life… full uncut video of what happened to be released once I am out of Libya and have time to edit it…”

@AJEnglish: Al Jazeera employee killed in Libya: Network cameraman shot dead in Benghazi.

The slain cameraman was a Qatari national. Mohammed bin Hamad, the son of Qatar's ruling emir, weighed in on Twitter saying:

@MbinH: Ali Al Jaber, through his camera and his bravery, brought us images of the reality of what was going on in Libya. #RIP #AliAlJaber

Mussa also tweeted:

@abdullahmussa: Crowds in #Benghazi chant: with our souls with our blood, we'll protect you #Aljazeera. #aja #aje

Support from global colleagues
As word of the killing continues to spread, more come to Al Jazeera's defense, including these international journalists:

@nirrosen: condolences to al Jazeera's brave reporters on their terrible loss today. moving images now of Ben Ghazi masses showing support for Jazeera

@NickKristof: Al Jazeera cameraman Ali Hassan Al Jabir was murdered today in eastern Libya. Hats off to his courage, and RIP.

@kevglobal: RT @SCClemons: Saluting @AJEnglish & @AJArabic murdered photographer Ali Hassan Al-Jaber. Tears from Wadah Khanfar.

The network, and those who knew him, are sharing more details about Al Jaber, and how he died…

@AJELive: Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley in Benghazi: Al Jaber was hit by 3 shots, and was wounded through heart; then died in hospital

@AJELive: Al Jaber, a Qatari national, was born in 1955 and received 2 degrees in cinematography from Academy of Arts in Cairo.

@Dima_Khatib: Yes I did know Ali Al Jaber when I worked for Al Jazeera in Doha. A very good-hearted man. A very respectful and respectable colleague.

@Dima_Khatib: Thank you all for condolences & solidarity with Al Jazeera cameraman Ali Al Jaber, a great professional but also head of family in Qatar

UPDATE: A funeral was held for Al Jaber later that night in Benghazi. Evan Hill, an AJE web producer, shot this video of the emotional scene:

This post is a part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.


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