September 23rd, 2017

Istanbul, TURKEY - Thursday, September 21st, Syrian-American journalist Halla Barakat and
her mother, Orouba Barakat were found brutally killed in their home in Uskudar, Istanbul.
Police reports acquired by the Coalition indicate the victim’s throats were slit days before the
bodies were reported to be found. Chemicals were used in the murder in order to mask the odor
of the bodies. The Coalition was alerted of the murdered mother and daughter by friends of
Halla who were unable to reach her.

Halla’s mother also worked as a journalist in the 80s and in recent year became a staunch critic
and activist against the regime. Their work in journalism and activism was illuminating.

“We are saddened and alarmed by the notorious murder of our colleague Halla Barakat and her
mother Orouba Barakat. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of the Barakat family and to the
journalist community,” said founding director of the coalition, Kiran Nazish. “We request Turkish
authorities to closely investigate the murders and keep the public informed about their findings.
We will be watching the investigation closely.”

“Anytime there is an attack on journalists, like in the case with the Barakats, answers need to be
given,” said the Head of Advocacy for the Coalition, Elle Toussi. “The Coalition takes such
matters seriously and will be seeking these answers and request the Turkish authorities to be
very transparent with their findings."

The Barakat’s were staunchly critical of the Assad regime. Halla was investigating the war
crimes in prison by the regime.

Mohamed Garred, one of Halla’s close friends told the Coalition, “We are terrified. Her death
and the way she was killed frightens us,” he said of friends and colleagues of Halla. “It
completely destabilizes the small community of people, who are trying to expose Assad’s war
crimes, and it shows how little protection there is for such people in the world.” Four other
friends and colleagues of Halla, revealed they are silenced after this murder and fear for their

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of Halla Barakat and Orouba Barakat in Istanbul.


About​ ​the​ ​Coalition​ ​for​ ​Women​ ​in​ ​Journalism​ The Coalition for Women in Journalism is the first global support network for women journalists of all backgrounds. We work in several countries, and offer help to journalists in multiple languages. The network of individuals and organizations bring together the experience and mentorship necessary to help women navigate the industry.

For more information about the Coalition, please visit www.womeninjournalism.org .
Press Inquiries
Kiran Nazish
Co-Founder & Director
Coalition for Women in Journalism
+1(917) 353-4167
Elle Toussi
Head of Advocacy
Coalition for Women in Journalism
+1(714) 588-1856