Gilles Jacquier, a French journalist killed today in Syria. Image © AFP
Gilles Jacquier, a French journalist, was killed in Syria today, apparently when his vehicle was hit by an RPG. He was part of an official delegation of Western journalists, escorted by the Syrian Information Ministry, on a highly-controlled tour of the embattled city of Homs.
Jacquier leaves behind work, which reveals his bravery and dedication, in conflict areas such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Kosovo, Haiti, Zaire, Israel, Algeria, and Syria.
Jacquier was no stranger to the Arab Spring. Last year, he filmed a 45-minute documentary for France 2: Tunisie, la révolution en marche, presented with English subtitles:
Jacquier was honoured early in his career --- he and Bertand Coq won the prestigious Albert Londres Prize in 2003. They were recognised for a report in April 2002 from Nablus on the West Bank, after they and their crew were the only Western journalists who managed to get into the city following the Israeli attack during Operation Defensive Shield.
In March 2001, months before the rest of the West began paying attention to the plight of Afghanistan, Jacquier reported on the difficulties faced by many civilians, especially women.
Gilles returned to Afghanistan several years lars and was once again honoured for his work. In 2009, he won the presigious Grand Prix Jean-Louis Calderon award for his report on an Afghan school, Afghanistan: ecole, le taleau noir.
He can be seen here being interviewed by French television about his success:
Jacquier's death is a tragic loss to family and friends. As this small selection of his work illustrates, it is also a loss to a world which is forever in need of brave and diligent journalism.