Reporter’s death in Turkey ‘suspicious’: Iran broadcaster
Iran’s Press TV says it believes the death of Serena Shim in Turkey was not an accident
An American journalist of Lebanese origin working for Iran’s Press TV was killed in a car crash on the Turkish-Syrian border, but the state-owned broadcaster is suspecting the death was not an accident.
The station was skeptical about the circumstances of Serena Shim’s death, a Press TV reporter in Lebanon told The Daily Star.
Shim had told Press TV that “intelligence people visited the hotel where she was staying to collect information about her background and to keep a close eye on her,” Ali Rizk, who works for the Iranian broadcaster, told the Lebanese daily.
Rizk also spoke of a number of incidents and facts that did not add up.
“The truck driver who collided with her car has disappeared, and we are not aware that the Turkish authorities are investigating the accident, or searching for the driver. All these facts made the station question Serene’s death,” Rizk said.
Press TV also published an article on its website, quoting Rodney Martin, chairman of the American Nationalist Association, who claimed Shim was a “victim of a black operation by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.”
“Mrs. [Serena] Shim most likely died as a result of her tireless pursuit of truth which is suppressed by media in the West. Mrs. Shim appears to be the victim of a CIA black op, most likely with the cooperation of Turkey who just recently accused her of being a ‘spy’ after she exposed Turkey’s assistance of ISIL [ISIS],” Press TV quoted Martin as saying.
Press TV News Director Hamid Reza Emadi called on the Turkish government to investigate the incident “to find out exactly what happened” to Serena.
“Her death is very suspect” he said.
The fatal accident, through which the car driving Shim collided with a “heavy vehicle,” happened a day after Shim said that the Turkish intelligence agency had accused her of spying and threatened to arrest her.
“I am a bit worried because … Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists, so I am a bit frightened about what they might use against me,” Shim had said on Friday.
She had earlier reported that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants were crossing into Syria from the Turkish border on trucks bearing the logos of the World Health Organization and other non-governmental organizations, indicating that Turkey was supporting the militants and facilitating their access to the war-torn neighboring country.
Press TV reported that Martin called on Turkey to allow Iranian officials to investigate the matter.
“The so-called accidental death of Press TV’s reporter Serena Shim must be fully investigated. However, this investigation must be conducted by investigators from Iran, and Turkey must grant full access to Iranian investigators,” Martin added, reported Press TV.