Syria: Skyline calls on international community to play more active role in protecting journalists from repeated attacks
Stockholm- Skyline International Human Rights foundation expresses its deep concern about the continued violations committed against Syrian journalists by various parties. Hence, it says that the policy of restriction and persecution pursued by these parties, seriously violate a wide range of international pacts that ensure the special protection of journalists. Thus, it calls on the international community to play a more effective role in this regard.
In a statement released today, Sunday, Skyline says it us greatly concerned with the documented number of violations against Syrian journalists in the first half of this year. According to the Syrian Center for Press Freedom report, these violations amount to 20 violations, bringing the number of violations documented in the Center's records since March 2011 to 1441 violations.
According to the Press Center report, these violations are distributed as follows: (12) violations committed by the Democratic Union (PYD), (4) violations committed by opposition factions, in addition to registering about (3) violations committed by pre-Syrian regime and ISIS, the violation against an unknown person was limited.
Skyline notes that the most high-profile violations documented in the first half of this year were the murder of a media activist, five cases of injuries and beatings, ten cases of arrests and detentions, and three violations of media facilities.
Most of the documented violations against the media in Syria in the first half of this year were concentrated in northern Syria. The report by the Syrian Center for Press Freedoms documented 12 violations in Al-Hasakah governorate in northeastern Syria, five violations in Idlib and Aleppo (northwest), and one violation in Raqqa, Homs, and Damascus.
Skyline refers to a report last June by Organization Without Borders on the increasing restrictions imposed on journalists in their regions by the "self-government" that controls the regions of northeastern Syria in order to tighten its control over reporting.
"Freelance journalists have a harder time working because they are forced to join a state union and pay more money to register," said Sabrina Bennoy, head of the organisation's Middle East office.
According to Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index, Syria ranks 171st out of 180 countries in 2022.
Skyline stresses that the unjustified numbers and attacks that have been observed are a blatant violation of the legal provisions that guarantee freedom of opinion, expression and journalistic work. It emphasises that the relevant international bodies must play their role to limit the escalation of violations in Syria.
At the end of its statement, Skyline calls on the Syrian regime and armed groups to stop their constant attacks on journalists and the media, to work for the release of those arrested. It also demands the Syrian regime to ensure that members of the security and armed services respect members of the press while they carry out their work.