Marie Colvin Dead: William Hague, David Cameron And Rupert Murdoch Pay Tribute To Murdered Sunday Times Journalist

The Huffington Post UK   Dina Rickman First Posted: 22/02/2012 12:12 Updated: 22/02/2012 15:10

William Hague has paid tribute to murdered Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin saying he is "deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic news."

He said the veteran foreign correspondent embodied "the highest values of journalism throughout her long and distinguished career as a foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times."

In an emotional statement, the foreign secretary said her death was also a reminder of the suffering of the Syrian people.

"For years she shined a light on stories that others could not and placed herself in the most dangerous environments to do so, including suffering injuries while reporting in Sri Lanka," he said.

"She was utterly dedicated to her work, admired by all of us who encountered her, and respected and revered by her peers. Her tragic death is a terrible reminder of the risks that journalists take to report the truth.

“It is also a terrible reminder of the suffering of the Syrian people – scores of whom are dying every day. Marie and Remi died bringing us the truth about what is happening to the people of Homs. Governments around the world have the responsibility to act upon that truth – and to redouble our efforts to stop the Assad regime’s despicable campaign of terror in Syria.”

The foreign secretary's comments were echoed by David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

"This is a desperately sad reminder of the risks that journalists take to inform the world of what is happening and the desperate events in Syria," the prime minister told the House of Commons while Miliband described Colvin as a "brave and tireless reporter".

Her editor John Witherow said she was an "extraordinary figure in the life of The Sunday Times", adding: "She was with Paul Conroy, the freelance photographer, who was injured in the attack. We do not know the extent of his wounds but the early reports suggest he is not too seriously hurt. We are doing what we can to get him to safety and to recover Marie's body."

In an email to staff on Tuesday, Rupert Murdoch said she was "one of the most outstanding foreign correspondents of her generation":

It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Marie Colvin, one of the most outstanding foreign correspondents of her generation, who was killed in Homs in Syria today while reporting for The Sunday Times.

She was a victim of a shell attack by the Syrian army on a building that had been turned into an impromptu press centre by the rebels. Our photographer, Paul Conroy, was with her and is believed to have been injured. We are doing all we can in the face of shelling and sniper fire to get him to safety and to recover Marie’s body.

Marie had fearlessly covered wars across the Middle East and south Asia for 25 years for The Sunday Times. She put her life in danger on many occasions because she was driven by a determination that the misdeeds of tyrants and the suffering of the victims did not go unreported. This was at great personal cost, including the loss of the sight in one eye while covering the civil war in Sri Lanka. This injury did not stop her from returning to even more dangerous assignments.



Marie Colvin at work in Chechnya in 1999

Culture secretary also Jeremy Hunt paid tribute to Colvin, saying her death was "tragic."


Jeremy Hunt
Tragic news about Marie Colvin, a brave woman and an excellent journalist. Thoughts are with her family and friends.

His shadow Harriet Harman also tweeted


Harriet Harman
Tragic news of death of Marie Colvin. Deepest sympathy to her family. An inspiring woman and pioneering journalist. Such a loss.

The American-born Colvin, who was based in Britain, was a highly respected foreign correspondent who had reported on the Middle East for more than two decades.

n a harrowing video made only yesterday for the BBC, which contains descriptions of dying children hit by the attacks, Colvin reported on the shelling in Homs that it now appears also took her life.

"It is just unrelenting," Colvin said in the video.

She also reported on the situation in Homs for CNN:

In her final written piece for the Sunday Times published over the weekend, Colvin spoke of the citizens of Homs "waiting for a massacre".

"The scale of human tragedy in the city is immense. The inhabitants are living in terror. Almost every family seems to have suffered the death or injury of a loved one," she wrote.


Colvin working in the Chechen Mountains, Chechnya in 1999

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