SNHR: 42 media activists killed during 2017 in Syria

Orient Net 2018-01-05 10:24:00

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SNHR has published its monthly report documenting the violations by the parties to the conflict in Syria against media activists who play a prominent role in the civil movement and the armed conflict.

According to the report, media activism in Syria is continuously deteriorating as many international organizations are not paying enough attention to what is happening in Syria and the notable decline in media coverage over the last year compared with previous years.

The report outlines the most notable violations against media activists in 2017 as the report documents the killing of 42 media activists at the hands of the parties the conflict. Syrian regime forces killed the most media activists with 17 media activists, followed by ISIS with 10 while Russian forces killed four.

47 media activists, according to the report, were injured in 2017 including 29 who were injured by Syrian regime forces.

In addition, the report documents 93 cases of arrest, abduction, and release that involved media activists. Hay’at Tahrir al Sham was responsible for most of these cases with 19 cases of arrest where 18 of the 19 arrested media activists were released, followed by Self-Management forces who released 10 media activists out of 11 arrest cases they were responsible for. Armed opposition factions were responsible for 10 cases of arrest including nine that were released.

Also, the report records that Syrian regime arrested six media activists in 2017, including two women.

According to the report, 2017 saw three attacks on media offices by Syrian regime forces.

The report also outlines the most notable violations against media activists in December 2017 as the report records that two media activists were killed – one by ISIS while the other media activist was killed by parties that the report wasn’t able to identify.

Additionally, the report documents one case of arrest by Syrian regime forces, two cases of arrest by armed opposition factions where the arrested media activists were released later, and one case of arrest by Kurdish Self-Management forces where the arrested media activist was released later.

The report emphasizes that serious and quick steps must be taken to save media activism in Syria and renews its condemnation of all violations against the freedom of media activism regardless of the perpetrators. The freedom of media must be respected and the workers in the media field must be protected and particularly considered.

The report calls on the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic to conduct investigations that focuses on the targeting of media activists given their vital role in recording incidents in Syria.

Also, the report calls on international and Arabic media institution to advocate their colleagues in the field of media by publishing periodic reports that shed light on their daily suffering and memorialize their sacrifice.

Finally, the report calls on the Russian guarantor to stop the Syrian regime from dooming all de-escalation agreements, and start making progress in the detainees issue by revealing the fates of 76,000 forcibly-disappeared persons.