Simon Peter Cumbers (23 January 1968 – 6 June 2004) was an Irish-born freelance journalist working for the BBC who was murdered by apparent Al Qaeda sympathisers while filming one of the terrorist group's safehouses near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2009)|
Cumbers was educated in St. Patrick's Classical School in Navan, County Meath. He was editor of his school magazine, Tuairim, and a local radio broadcaster with pirate radio station Royal County Radio.
While at St. Patrick's, Simon worked initially with the Drogheda Independent and the Ipswich Evening Star, as a features writer, before becoming the Chief Reporter of Dublin's Capitol Radio (now called FM104).
In 1990 Cumbers moved to the United Kingdom to work with a variety of British broadcasters, including Sky News, ITN, APTN, and the BBC. Cumbers worked both as a journalist and a producer. In the late 1990s he retrained and became a cameraman as well, establishing Locum Productions, to supply camera crews to broadcasters, together with his wife, BBC journalist Louise Bevan.
Cumbers and BBC correspondent Frank Gardner were filming an Al Qaeda safehouse in Al-Suwaidi, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia when they were attacked. Gardner was critically wounded while Cumbers died instantly from a gunshot wound to the head. He was 36.
- Guerin, Orla (8 June 2004). "Simon Cumbers". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Simon Cumber". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "'Don't execute our son's killer": Navan family's plea to Saudis". Meath Chronicle (Navan). 1 July 2009. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Company profile". Locum Productions Limited. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "CPJ calls on authorities to apprehend perpetrators of attack on BBC cameraman and reporter" (Press release). Committee to Protect Journalists. 7 June 2004. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Bradley, John R. Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis. Palgrave Macmillan 2005. 146-147.
The Simon Cumbers Media Fund is administered by DHR Communications and is funded by Irish Aid. The fund is aimed at assisting and promoting more and better quality media coverage of development issues in the Irish media.
Coverage of shooting
- Yemen Times report of the shooting of Frank Gardner and the killing of Simon Cumbers
- Committee to Protect Journalists calls for probe into shootings - IFEX
Reaction and obituary
- Reaction to Cumbers killing in his local Irish newspaper, the Meath Chronicle
- Obituary for Simon Cumbers by Orla Guerin published in The Guardian
- Comments by then Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen TD on the murder of Simon Cumbers
- BBC Obituary for Simon Cumbers
- Messages paying tribute to Simon Cumbers