11 violations against media in Syria documented in last July
Settlements agreements imposed recently by the Syrian regime in some areas have not led to positive impact on media freedom as the regime is still committing different kinds of violations against media. These violations include killing of journalists by directly targeting them, systematic arrests, closing and sealing media organization confiscating its resources. It is worth noting that leaked lists of thousands of detainees and forcibly disappeared who were killed under torture in regime’s prisons included journalists and media activists.
On the other hand, some opposition forces in northern Syria continue violating media freedoms and as a result, the figure of violations against media in previous month, July, in Syria has risen.
The Syrian Centre for Journalistic Freedoms of Syrian Journalists Association documented 11 violations against media in July 2018 in Syria. So, July witnessed a significant increase in violations comparing to that in last June, 3 violations.
Opposition civic parties and local councils topped those responsible for violations in July by committing 5 violations as local councils of Azaz, Andan, Hritan, and al-Atarib prohibited Syria TV from working in these areas. It is worth noting that Al-Atarib local council prohibited Halab Today from working. The Syrian regime are responsible for 4 violations while armed Hamza brigade of Free Syrian Army (FSA) committed one violation and one violation was committed by unidentified party.
Killing of 3 media professionals and detaining another one are the main documented violations in July 2018. The Syrian Centre for Journalistic freedoms documented the killing of Syrian-Palestinian photographer Niraz Saeed under torte in regime’s prisons after arresting him for 3 years. The number of media professionals killed under torture in regime’s detention centres and prisons documented by the Syrian Centre for journalistic freedoms has risen to 30.
The centre documented in July the killing of war correspondent of Sama TV channel Mustafa Salama as a result of mortar injury while covering clashes between regime’s army and FSA factions, Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) on the frontline of Tal Msahar in Quneitra countryside south-western Syria. Relatives of the media activist Alaa al-Dien Ibish aka Muhammed al-dimashqi revealed news of his killing by filed execution in regime’s prisons after arresting him since 2013. As a result, the number of killed media professionals documented by the Centre since mid-March 2011 has risen to 434.
The Centre also documented the arrest of media activist Layth al-Abdullah by Hamza brigade of FSA in Aleppo’s Afrin under the pretext of media coverage of situations in the city. His fate is still unknown.
during the last month, violations committed against media organizations went up in a trying to limit its work as a number of local councils in Aleppo’s countryside prohibited Syria TV from working. Also, the local council of al-Atarib prohibited Halab Today TV channel from working in the city before it backed away from its decision after 4 days. Syrian regime attacked the headquarters of Syria Alghad radio and confiscated equipment, broadcasting towers and office stuff in Daraa countryside. The regime also closed Sada FM radio in Aleppo under the pretext of reporting without permission and having satellite broadcasting. However, the regime allowed it to work again in the same month.
As for geographical distributions, Aleppo province witnessed 7 violations in northern and western countryside and regime-controlled areas while Damascus, Damarcus countryside, Daraa and Qunietra provinces witnessed one violation each.
Syrian Journalists Association