New report documents over 1250 violations of press freedoms in Syria

Members of the Syrian Civil Defense known as “White Helmets” and friends carry the body of citizen journalist Anas al-Dyab during his funeral in Idlib on July 21, 2019. (AFP)

Kidnappings, killings, arrests and forced disappearances – This is what hundreds of journalists covering the Syrian war have been suffering from since the Syrian revolution began in 2011. With just camera lenses, smartphones, and pens, journalists in Syria have been purposefully targeted.

The Syrian Center for Press Freedoms documented 1251 violations of press freedom between the beginning of the Syrian revolution in March, 2011, and August, 2019. More than half of the violations were committed by the Syrian regime and government forces, followed by ISIS.

The center’s database shows that 452 Syrian journalists were killed and 250 had been detained or kidnapped during the period of documentation. The whereabouts of 36 journalists are still unknown.

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Alkadi Ibrahim Hussein, the director of the center, told Asharq al-Awsat in a recent interview that “all sides of the Syrian conflict have proven that their greatest enemy is whoever tells the truth.”

In its last annual report, the press freedoms NGO Reporters Without Borders categorized Syria as the second most dangerous country in the world for journalists.

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The Syrian Center for Press Freedoms is a branch of the Syrian Journalists Association, which has been documenting violations against journalists since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in March 2011. The center issues monthly statements and reports, in addition to its annual studies, of the situation of the press in the war-torn country.

Local and international rights organizations say that the war has killed more than 370,000 people, and has displaced half the Syrian population.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53