On February 1, 2019, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted a motion for default judgment and entered a $302,511,836.00 award against the Syrian Arab Republic (“Syria”). The court found the Syrian government liable for the death of Marie Colvin, who died in an artillery shelling on February 22, 2012, at a media center in the city of Homs. Colvin was a heralded war correspondent who had previously “cover[ed] conflict zones in Iraq, Chechnya, the Balkans, East Timor, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, and Libya.” Colvin's heirs brought suit, claiming that because Syria had been designated a “state sponsor of terrorism,” it could be held liable for an extrajudicial killing of a U.S. national under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). Judge Amy Berman Jackson concluded that the plaintiffs met the evidentiary burden required to support their claim after finding personal and subject matter jurisdiction.
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