8 violations against media in Syria documented in last October

Injury of media professional 
And the Syrian regime banned Al Ayam newspaper from distribution twice

Even though most areas in Syria recently have become calm and witnessed declining in clashes or shelling, which were previously the main reasons of violations against media, the curve of violations has risen in the last month on the grounds of pressuring media freedoms by Syrian regime and some opposition sides.  

The Syrian Centre for Journalistic Freedoms of Syrian Journalists Association documented 8 violations against media in October in Syria. 6 out of the 8 violations occurred in the last October while 2 violations took place in the last September. The Centre documented the violations after verifying them according to criteria of documentation. October witnessed a slight increase in the number of documented violations comparing to that in last September when only 2 violations were documented.     

The Syrian regime topped those responsible for violations by committing 4 violations in the last month. Autonomous administration’s authority of PYD committed 2 violations while Hayaat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Salvation government in Idlib committed one violation each. 

For the fifth time in 2018 (January, April, June, September, October,) no killing cases were documented. Hence, the number of killed media professionals documented by the Centre since the mid-March 2011 remains 435. As for the current year, 13 media professionals were killed till the end of october.    

The Centre mainly documented in October the injury of one media professional and detaining of 2 others. Media professional Zakariyya al-Haj Mustafa was targeted by members of HTS in Kafar Hamra town in Aleppo western countryside while he was heading back after covering clashes in the town. Also, regime’s military intelligence in Damascus arrested journalists Ihab al-Awad and Rulla al-Saadi on Sunday 30 September 2018 on the ground of practicing media work in the city; both journalists were released on October 16, 2018.   

Also, the autonomous administration’s authorities of PYD detained media professionals Ahmad al-Soufi and Khusro Asaad Aziz in al-Hasakh province, but Khusro was released later. Salvation government of HTS in Idlib detained media professional Ahmad Ghajar under the pretext of criticizing the government on social media sites; Ahmad was released one day after his arrest.     

October witnessed 2 violations against media centres. Syrian regime’s Ministry of Information banned Alayyam newspaper from distribution on Sunday October 28, 2018 without mentioning reasons of the ban. The Ministry previously banned the same newspaper under the pretext of publishing an investigation about schools of martyrs’ children.      

AS for geographical distribution of violations in October 2018, Damascus city witnessed 4 violations committed by the Syrian regime while al-Hasakah province witnessed 2 violations. And, the 2 other violations were committed in Aleppo and Idlib provinces. 

Finally, in October, Syrian regime released journalist Omar Kalo after 41 days in detention. Omar was detained when he attempted to enter Aleppo, west of Syria. Also, Japanese journalist Jumbei Yasuda who was abducted in Syria in 2011 by al-Nusra Front, currently HTS, was released.    

Syrian Journalist Association
Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms

For the full version of the report please download it in PDF format from the attached link.