Toowoomba teen in Syria talks on Paris terror attacks

Oliver Bridgeman Photo Contributed
Oliver Bridgeman Photo Contributed Contributed

A TOOWOOMBA teen who says he's doing humanitarian work in Syria, has weighed in on the media's coverage of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Oliver Bridgeman, who has denied any involvement with terrorist organisations or rebel groups in Syria, and may face charges if he returns to Australia, says he's working with the charity group Live Updates from Syria.

He wrote on Facebook that while there were numerous media reports on the terrorist attacks in Paris, the situation in Syria was being ignored.

"Everyone is shocked and the media is going crazy about the 120-plus people who just got killed in Paris," he said.

"But that happens nearly every day here in Syria but no one seems to care."

Oliver Bridgeman Photo Contributed
Oliver Bridgeman Photo Contributed Contributed

Mr Bridgeman wrote that all human lives should be weighted equally.

"A human is a human no matter if they are "western" or not and just because the people of Syria aren't living in the west it doesn't mean that the slaughtering that they endure on a day-to-day basis should be silenced by the media," he said.

"I also condemn the killing of innocent people."

Mr Bridgeman also commented on the death of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.

Photographs of his body were taken by Turkish journalist Nilüfer Demir and quickly spread around the world, prompting international responses.

This photo is a work of the Turkish press agency, Doğan News Agency
This photo is a work of the Turkish press agency, Doğan News Agency

Mr Bridgeman said the picture of the little Syrian toddler washing up dead on a Turkish beach was terribly sad.

"But Assad and his criminals have been slaughtering thousands of innocent Syrian children like him for years.

"The world's media shouldn't be focused on this recent tragedy except they should be focusing on the reason why Syrians flee their country."

Mr Bridgeman showed his opposition to beleaguered Syrian president Bashar al-Assad writing, "#StopBashar, #freeSyria and #stoptheWar.

On May 26, the Australian Federal Police issued a statement to The Chronicle in relation to Mr Bridgeman's activities in Syria.

"The AFP is aware that a teenager from the Toowoomba area of Queensland left Australia recently and may be in a Middle East conflict area," it read.

"The AFP is engaging with his family and is looking at ways that we might be able to communicate with him in an effort to convince him to return home.

"While these efforts are occurring, no further comment will be made."



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