American journalist Serena Shim was killed in a car accident in Turkey in October 2014.
The journalist was covering the ongoing war between Iraqi Kurdish and ISIS militants’ control of the strategic Syrian town of Kobani.
Shim – who was working for Press TV at the time – broke a story at the Turkish border where she witnessed high-ranking members of ISIS being bussed into Syria from Turkey on 300 semi-trucks.
Shim also witnessed that one of those trucks had “World Food Organization” written on it.
When breaking the news, she explicitly stated that she feared for her life because Turkish Intelligence accused her of being a spy.
She reported on Press TV:
“I am very surprised at this accusation [of espionage]. I’ve even thought of actually approaching Turkish intelligence and — because I have nothing to hide — I’ve never done anything aside from my job and I’d like to make that apparent to them.
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… I’m hoping that nothing is going to happen, that it’s going to blow over.
I would assume that they are going to take me in for questioning, and the next hope is that my lawyer is good enough to get me out as soon as possible.”
Then two days later, Press TV, which is also owned by the Iranian government, announced her death:
“Serena was killed in a reported car accident when she was returning from a report scene in the city of Suruch in Turkey’s Urfa province. She was going back to her hotel in Urfa when their car collided with a heavy vehicle.”
But the circumstances surrounding her death are a little more complicated and convoluted.
Serena’s sister commented on the circumstances a month later in 2014:
“There’s so many different stories. The first was that Serena’s car was hit by a heavy vehicle, who proceeded to keep on driving. They could not find the vehicle nor could they find the driver.
Two days later, surprisingly, they had found the vehicle and the driver, and had pictures of the heavy vehicle hitting my sister’s car. Every day coming out with new pictures of different degrees of damages that have happened to the car.
Serena and my cousin who was the driver of the car were taken to two different hospitals. She was reported first dead at the scene. Then coming out with later reports that she passed away at the hospital 30 minutes later from heart failure? ”
And now, a little over 2 years later, there has still been no investigation opened by the Obama administration.
Shim’s mother, Judy Poe, is calling for an investigation because, “I absolutely suspect foul play,” she says.
Neither the U.S. State Department nor the Turkish government has contacted Poe about her daughter’s death. The U.S. Embassy in Turkey called Shim’s husband seven days after she was buried to “inquire if her body had arrived in Lebanon,” since she was to be buried in Beirut.
Poe said pleadingly:
“I want to know what happened to my daughter. I want at least an attempt from the Iranian government, which owns Press TV, and the U.S. government to investigate what happened in Turkey.”
The State Department told FoxNews.com it “does not conduct investigations into deaths overseas.”
A State Department spokesman said:
“We do closely monitor all foreign government law enforcements’ investigations into deaths of U.S. citizens overseas.
Likewise, in some cases, FBI may choose to assist a foreign government, upon the foreign government’s request, or investigate whether a death may violate U.S. law.”
Meanwhile, Izzettin Kucuk, governor of the Sanliurfa region, was quoted as saying the allegations against Turkish Intelligence’s involvement in the crash are “completely baseless.”
He told Hurriyet Daily News the accusations were “attempts to put Turkey in a difficult situation.”
Even if Shim’s death was an accident and this was an odd coincidence, the Obama administration’s refusal to open an investigation that is undoubtedly warranted is callous and heartless for not giving her family peace of mind.
She risked her life to report the truth; and the United States owes her that.