The Washington Post

Javier Espinosa escaped Syria, but Syrian news outlet reported his death

Spanish photographer Javier Espinosa escaped from Syria on Wednesday, where he had been trapped with other journalists in the besieged Bab Amr district in the city Homs. But it seems the Syrian government never noticed.

On Thursday, the Syrian Arab News Agency claimed that Espinosa’s body had been found in Homs, along with the bodies of slain journalists Marie Colvin and Remy Ochlik. The Syrian Army, the agency said, had “cleansed Bab Amr from the foreign-backed armed groups of terrorists.”

Javier Espinosa (L), in an undated photograph. (AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

But Espinosa, who works for the Spanish daily El Mundo, had appeared safe and sound in Beirut the day before, giving an interview to CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Espinosa told CNN that the report of his death “would be a nice joke” if not for the violence and suffering in Bab Amr.

The photographer described daily life in Homs as filled with constant, “systematic shelling,” which he said began at 6 a.m. and continued until 6 p.m., with a on- hour break in between for lunch.

He did allow for some comic release on Friday, lampooning the Syrian news agency’s claims on Twitter:

So if they give back my body i hope to recover my computer as well please and some thousands dollars I had in my bag #homs #syria

— JAVIER ESPINOSA (@javierespinosa2) March 2, 2012

Espinosa was one of four journalists who escaped from the besieged neighborhood of Bab Amr in Homs. The others are British journalist Paul Conroy, French journalist Edith Bouvier, and French photographer William Daniels.


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