A statement on the killing of media professional Ali Othman

Date: 19-04-2019
 
A statement on the killing of media professional Ali Othman
 
With a lot of pain, the Syrian Journalists Association (SJA) has received news of killing media professional Ali Othman in the Syrian regime’s prisons. Ali was arrested by the Syrian regime’s intelligence in Aleppo on March 28, 2012, and his fate had been unknown since then. But, a short while ago, his family received, from the civil registry in Homs, a document that Ali had died on December 30, 2013. 
 
Conveying most heartfelt condolences to the family of Ali and his colleagues, the SJA draws attention to the danger of media when it serves as an accessory to the crime. Syrian regime’s media machine exploited the arrest of Ali by showing him on the media making alleged confessions. Later on, Ali’s family received a certificate of his death from the Syrian regime. Thus, this forms irrefutable proof of the crimes committed by the Syrian regime against media in Syria.
 
The SJA stresses on the danger of criminals with impunity in Syria. Impunity for crimes will worsen the humanitarian catastrophe lived by Syrians since 2011. It will also enable those who killed hundreds of Syrian, and non-Syrian media professionals to continue doing their crimes against humanity in Syria. These crimes will have awful impacts on the structure of the Syrian community.  
 
The SJA calls upon the international community, especially the organizations working in legal and media fields, to spare no efforts to exert pressures on the Syrian regime so to return Ali’s body to his family as well as to reveal the fate of thousands of the detainees, including at least 8 foreign journalists whose fate is still unknown so far. The SJA fears these detainees have lost their lives under torture in the regime’s prisons. It is worth noting that the SJA has documented the killing of 32 media professionals under torture in the Syrian regime’s detention centers since 2011.
 
The SJA also calls for:
1. Enforcement of international laws protecting media professionals and defending
them, freedom of the press and the right of transferring information in Syria.   
2. Implementation of the Convention against Torture and holding the perpetrators
accountable.
3. Implementation of the United Nations General Assembly’s Convention on the Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
 
The Syrian Journalists Association – SJA.