Syria: Continuation of attacks on media freedom in the country is a dangerous sign that requires a genuine will to end them
Stockholm - Skyline International for Human Rights condemns the ongoing attacks against Syrian journalists by various parties and stresses that the pursued policy of restriction and persecution violates a wide range of international conventions that guarantee special protection for journalists and freedom of expression. It appeals to the international community to play a more effective rol in this regard.
In a statement released today, Monday, "Skyline" says it is deeply concerned about the number of violations against Syrian journalists it observed in October 2022. These were 7 violations, bringing the total number of violations documented since March 2011 to 1458. "Skyline" explains that according to local reports and information, these violations are distributed as follows: (6) violations committed equally by "Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham" and the "Syrian armed opposition," and one violation committed by a journalist outside Syria.
Most of the violations were geographically concentrated in northwestern Syria. Three violations were committed in the town of Al-Bab on the eastern outskirts of Aleppo, which is controlled by the opposition. Also, three violations were committed in Idlib governorate, which is controlled by Tahrir Al-Sham, and the last violation took place in the French capital of Paris. According to Skyline, a member of the National Army of the Syrian Armed Opposition attacked media workers in the city of Al-Bab, east of Aleppo: "Muhammad al-Sibai, Siraj al-Shami and Qassem Habbar" were threatened and prevented from covering the city.
The salvation government in the city of Idlib, which is affiliated with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, has also temporarily prevented the journalist "Adnan Faisal al-Imam" from working for the media in the areas it controls, and he has also been threatened by members of the salvation government in Idlib.
For its part, the Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms documented an assault on a Syrian journalist outside the country, in which media workers were prevented from reporting and threatened. Syrian photojournalist "Zakaria Abdul Kafi" was seriously injured in his left eye and forehead while covering a day-long demonstration on professional moblization in the French capital, Paris
Regarding violations against media centers and facilities, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham has permanently banned the Orient Foundation from operating in the areas it controls in northwestern Syria. According to Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index, Syria ranks 171st out of 180 countries in 2022. This reflects the alarming situation of journalists and media workers, especially the constant threats they face in carrying out their work, without any special protection.
Skyline reiterates that the unjustified figures and attacks identified are a blatant violation of the legal provisions that guarantee freedom of opinion, expression and journalistic work. It also stresses that the relevant international bodies must play their role to limit the escalation of violations by the various parties in Syria.
The international foundation Skyline points out that the international community's dismissive attitude toward the practices of the various parties in Syria with regard to the right to press freedom-particularly the attacks on journalists and media outlets-and the lack of legal oversight of these parties' violations provide tacit cover for the continued violation of these rights.
At the end of its statement, Skyline calls on the Syrian regime and the armed factions to stop their continuous attacks against journalists and media work, work to release the detained journalists , and ensure that members of the security and armed services respect press crews while they perform their work