Syria Kurdish journalists continue reporting despite restrictions

Journalist Mohammed Mahmoud Bashar. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Darbasiyah, Syria – The organization of Reporters Without Borders issued a report two weeks ago expressing its concern about “the significant deterioration in freedom of information in Syrian areas controlled by the Democratic Union Party (PYD)”.

The PYD-linked Union of Free Media released a statement earlier this week in response to the report of Reporters Without Borders, saying that some journalists are involved in illegal activities, accusing the correspondent of the Kurdish Rudaw TV, Mohammed Mahmoud Bashar, of working in “human smuggling”.

Bashar was detained by the PYD-affiliated Assayish forces on the 23rd of last April in his city, Darbasiyah, and was released five days afterwards. Bashar’s detention was mentioned in the Reporters Without Borders’ report.

Speaking to ARA News, Bashar said that he was taken to a detention center of the Assayish in Amuda city and afterwards was moved to Qamishli city.

“After my release, I decided not to give any statements to media outlets about my five-day-detention at the Assayish center of the PYD; however, they started to fabricate baseless information about me and accused me of working in human smuggling,” Bashar said.

According to Bashar, the PYD-linked Union of Free Media follows a political agenda instead of defending journalists in northern Syria.

“I actually don’t know whether the PYD’s Union of Free Media intends to avoid taking the responsibility of protecting journalists or whether it seeks to discredit the journalists who work outside the framework of the ideology which the organization seems to have adopted,” he said, assuring: “I will however continue my work and will not care about such baseless accusations.”

Notably, the PYD-linked Union of Free Media, based in Qamishli city, is the only media body that oversees the work of news organizations and news providers in the predominantly Kurdish areas in Syria –which fall under the control of the PYD’s security and military forces.


Reporting by: Jiwan al-Ali

Source: ARA News

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