When people talk about legendary freedom fighters, I always recall citizen journalists. Those young men and women who post videos and updates online for the rest of the world are real heroes. It has never been easy to be in the middle of police crackdown and take video and photo shoots. Those anonymous soldiers are my legendary heroes.
Ahmed Ismael, 22 years, is one of those heros.
On March 31 Ahmed was shot on his lower abdomen. Hours later, he was announced dead. Bahraini Ministry of Interior announced him dead as a result of a single bullet wound.
Although my article is written after several days after the incident, but I had a good reason to wait. I was waiting for the Bahraini government to have other announcements regarding the death of Ahmed. Until the time this article was written, Ahmed’s family refused to sign papers to receive his body. Official documents do not mention the real cause behind Ahmed's death.
Why Ahmed was shot?
According to eyewitnesses, Ahmed was holding his camera when he was shot. The killer was in a civil car. This makes me certain that Ahmed has been targeted. Ahmed was not an ordinary protestor. He was an incredible citizen journalist and videographer.
Although YouTube is a free website that enables users to upload videos, Ahmed paid his life as a price for uploading videos of security forces violations and Bahraini peaceful protestors’ bravery.
The live bullet was successful in taking away the life of Ahmed, but the brutal Bahraini regime will never be successful in shutting down Ahmed’s YouTube channel. I want to share with you some of the videos he uploaded:
Injured eyewitness in Salmaniya hospital
Types of the tear gas canisters used in Salmabad village
Bahraini security forces entering Salmabad village
Ahmed never surrendered until the last breathe. He was holding his bloodied camera before his death. His tragic loss is not only a loss to his family, but is a loss to the world. We lost a young man who was committed to convey the truth.
I am still waiting for the government’s response to my question: who killed Ahmed? This might take really long time or never happen. Is the government of Bahrain targeting citizen journalists?