Wounded journalists appeal for evacuation from Homs
PARIS — A French reporter wounded in the Syrian government’s bombardment of Homs made a video appeal on Thursday for a cease-fire and evacuation for urgent medical attention.
“My leg is broken at the level of the femur, along its length and also horizontally,” said the reporter, Edith Bouvier, in a video posted by anti-government activists. “I need to be operated upon as soon as possible.”
Bouvier, 31, on assignment for the French newspaper Le Figaro, was wounded Wednesday in the same shelling attack that killed two Western journalists, Marie Colvin of The Sunday Times and Remi Ochlik, a French photographer. Late Wednesday, Syrian activists posted video of a rally in Homs in honor of the two.
The journalists had taken great risks to enter the besieged city and report on the government crackdown there that has left thousands of civilians dead. The government’s assault on the makeshift media center where the journalists were working brought a new intensity to international condemnations of President Bashar Assad and his forces.
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France called the journalists’ killings “murder” and repeated demands that the Syrian government stop attacking peaceful demonstrators and allow humanitarian aid from abroad. He said that “this regime should leave” power.
In her video plea, Bouvier spoke lying down under a blanket in a darkened room alongside a French photographer, William Daniels, who said he was not wounded.
Appearing weak and haggard, but calm, she commended the care she had received but said her condition urgently demanded more.
“The doctors here have treated me very well, as much as they are able, but they are not able to undertake surgical procedures,” she said. “I need a cease-fire and a medically equipped vehicle, or at least one in good condition, that can get me to the Lebanese border so that I can be treated in the shortest possible time.”
She said the video was recorded on Thursday at 3 p. m. local time. It was posted on YouTube and a Web link was emailed to various news organizations.
On Thursday, Syria’s official news agency posted a statement from the government in response to the death of three journalists in the past week under the headline: “Foreign Ministry Calls on Foreign Journalists to Respect Journalistic Work Laws in Syria and Not Enter It Illegally.”
According to the news agency, the foreign ministry advised reporters to work only with the explicit permission of the government and “stressed the necessity for foreign journalists to respect the laws regulating journalistic work in Syria and avoid breaching laws and entering the Syrian territories illegally to access turbulent and unsafe places.”