6 violations against media in Syria documented in last April
In April 2018:
6 violations, armed opposition's factions topped those responsible for violations
The Syrian Centre for Journalistic Freedoms of Syrian Journalists Association documented in April 2018 six violations against media in Syria. 4 out of the 6 violations occurred in the previous month while the 2 others were committed in Feb. and March of the same year. The Centre documented them after collecting enough information and verifying them according to criteria of documentation used by the Centre and its methodology. Hence, April witnessed a significant decreasein violations comparing to previous months of the same year (January: 10 violations, February: 11 violations,March: 14 violations)
April witnessed a radical change in the type of documented violations, contrary to that in the first months of 2018. No cases of killing or injury were documented. The documented violations are detaining of 2 media professionals and attempted assassination of one media professional while performing their duties. As military operations decreased in most Syrian areas, violations against media decreased. However, some armed opposition’s factions in the north of Syria played negatively impacted the freedoms of media in April.
The armed opposition’s forces topped those responsible for violations in April 2018 by committing 3 violations. Each of Sultan Murad, Ahrar al-Shariqiya and Ahrar al-Shamal brigades is responsible for committing one violation while each of HayyatTahrir al-Sham HTS and Assad’s regime is responsible for committingone violation. One violation was committed by unidentified side.
For the second time in row in 2018, no killing cases were documented. Hence, the number of media professionals killed since mid-March 2011 remains 430.
The Center documented in April an attempted assassination ofmedia activist Mustafa Haj Ali aka Abi al-Nur by unidentified gunmen in Idlibcountryside. Abi al-Nur was seriously injured by the attempted assassination. In addition, armed opposition’s forces in Aleppo’s Afrindetained media professional DilishanSobhi Kara gul and journalist AbdulmajeedShiekho. Both Dilishan and Shiekho were released later. Armed members of Ahrar al-Shamaldetained media activist Omar Yusuf Jijo aka Omar al-Shamaliabu al-Abd for an hour and half. He was severely beaten in north of Aleppo province.
Members of HTS detained photographer Ahmad al-Akhras while he was preparing a report in Idlib’sDarkoush under the pretext of working without a permission of media work.
The Center also documented in April the bombarding the Arbin Unified Media Office in Eastern Ghoutain Damascus countryside on Feb. 22, 2018 by regime’s barrel bombs. The office was rendered out of service and damaged.
As for geographical distribution, violations occurred in north of Syria, especially in Aleppo and Idlib. Aleppo witnessed 3 violations while 2 violations were committed in Idlib. One violation was committed in Damascus countryside by the regime.
Finally, the Center documented in April releasing media activist Ali al-Dalati on Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 after 73 days of being detained by HTS in Idlib.