ARA News 

Damascus, Syria – The Syrian Center for Freedom of Journalism (linked to the Syrian Journalists Association) issued a report on violations practised against journalists and media activists in Syria.

The Center documented the death of two Syrian media activists during September 2014; Mohammad al-Qasim, 24, whose car was bullet-ridden on 11 September by anonymous armed men while he was riding with a rebel leader affiliated with al-Sham Battalion. While Abdullah Hammad, 28, died on 15 September during the regime’s aerial bombardment on Talbisah (in Homs environs, central Syria).

The Center also documented the execution of the American journalist Stephen Sotloff, 31, on 2 September 2014 by the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) -al Qaeda offshoot- after a one year disappearance in Syria.

The SJA report has documented other types of violations against journalists, such as the injury of media activist, working for SMART agency, Karam al-Masri, 24, on 2 September in Sallahaddin neighbourhood in Aleppo -northern Syria- by a regime’s sniper.

Based on the report, military members working in the intelligence directorate of the Lebanese Army arrested media spokesman of the Syrian Revolution’s General Assembly, Ahmad al-Qasir, on 18 September at his house in Bint Jbeil in Lebanon.

Moreover, Orient TV correspondent, Zaki al-Idilbi, narrowly escaped assassination when a bomb was placed in his car on 29 September in Binnish -in Idlib province, northern Syria.

Recently, the IS arrested four workers at al-Quriyah media center (in Deir ez-Zor countryside, northeastern Syria) on 14 September, on charges of humiliating the group and its militants.

Following investigations, the media workers were released after promising not to publish any anti-IS material unless evidence was provided.

Speaking to ARA News, Kurdish journalist and member of the Syrian Journalists Association (SJA), Serdar Malla Darwish, said: “Journalism work is really dangerous in Syria under war conditions and amid clashes among the different military forces.”

Darwish pointed out that no Syrian force on the ground can protect journalists, especially after the ban imposed by the Syrian regime on media outlets.

“Many international institutions depend on Syrian media activists to cover the happenings as the former cannot risk the lives of their correspondents,” Darwish added.

Darwish mentioned that international organizations via governments can take measures to protect Syrian journalists inside and outside Syria, such as providing them with trainings to build and improve their skills in this regard, as well as obliging allied armed groups to protect journalists.

According to the SJA’s Syrian Center for Freedom of Journalism, 255 journalists have been killed so far since the start of the crisis, March 2011.


Reporting by: Adel Hassan

Source: ARA News

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