Yves Debay


We are very sorry indeed to have to report the death of Histoire & Collections author and freelance journalist Yves Debay who was shot by a sniper in Aleppo in northern Syria, where he was reporting. This news comes via the AFP wire service, and was reported today by the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (OSDH).

Yves died Thursday near the central prison in the northern edge of the city where there was violent fighting between rebels and government soldiers, said the NGO which relies on a broad network of activists and doctors across the country.

He was shot by a sniper of forces loyal to the Syrian regime according to the press center of anti-regime forces in Aleppo.

Yves was reporting in Syria for Assault, a journal he founded after creating the magazine Raids in 1986.

Described by relatives as a jovial man, physically massive Yves Debay was born 24 December 1954 in Lubumbashi (formerly Belgian Congo), and later took French nationality.

He was a colorful personality and had served in elite units of the former Rhodesian army, the security services of the white regime in power until 1980 in what is now Zimbabwe. He also covered many conflicts, including the wars in Lebanon and in the Balkans.

According to Reporters Without Borders, 17 professional journalists, foreigners and Syrians, and 44 citizen journalists have been killed since the conflict began in Syria in March 2011.

Casemate President David Farnsworth said “Our thoughts are with Yves’ family and friends. This is a real tragedy and brings close to home the reality of what is going on in hotspots around the world. Journalism is often dismissed  by those who don’t know the very real danger that these brave men and women put themselves in to make sure the real story of what is going on is able to be told”


One thought on “Yves Debay

  1. Yves Debay, white African, Franco-Belgian,former soldier turned war-junkie and journalist; he was an excellent photographer who knew his subject and had empathy with its ‘players’, he will be remembered with affection by many.
    Yves had had many close calls in the past, and knew well the risks he was taking. At least when the end came it was quick, and more importantly perhaps came when he was doing something he enjoyed above all things, or as Yves would have said ‘maybe second from the top the list’.

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