13 violations against media sector in Syria during January 2017
Last January was not different from all the months of the Syrian revolution. Violations which media professionals, citizen journalists and media centers were exposed have continued despite the agreements to stop military actions among the conflicting parties in the country which did not leave a positive impact on the amount of violations.
The Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms in the Syrian Journalists Association documented the occurrence of 13 violations during the first month of 2017. The regime and ISIS committed around 50%, while other opposition actors against the regime were responsible for four of them and the names of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and al-Nusra Front were missed from the violators 'record this month.
The most prominent violations were the killing of five media professionals, which raised the number of violations documented by SJFC from the beginning of the Syrian revolution in March 2011 to 384 media professionals. The journalist Mouhammed Sabri al-Omar known as "Abu Obada al-Homsi " was killed after his kidnapping by unknown party in Daraa western countryside south of Syria. Ammar Bashir Kamel was also killed when regime forces shot him dead during his media work near the town of Khirbet Ghazaleh in Daraa countryside south of Syria. Also, Shabaan Al- Taweel , known as " Abu Zaid al-Homsi" was killed when an explosive device planted in his car exploded in the town of Bayt Jinn in Damascus western countryside when he was about to leave the town within the framework of the evacuation towards Adlib. During January, Obeida Ghabagbe , who was working for an armed battalion Liwa al-Khalifa subordinate to FSA, died of his wounds while covering battles with ISIS in Khahil in Daraa west countryside .
These violations were not only limited to killing, but also included the arrest of media activist Amer al- Hassan. Hassan was arrested by security forces affiliated with al-Sham Front affiliated with Syrian opposition in Izaz. Izaz which is controlled by opposition in Aleppo north countryside. al-Sham Front raided the office and after they evacuated the belongings in the office, they burned it. Another armed group subordinate to the Army of Conquest stormed the house of media activist Bahaa al-Halabi in Idlib in an attempt to arrest him, but he was able to escape the arrest.
Regarding media centers, the media office of al-Jisr TV channel in Izaz was destroyed completely by an explosion in the city. The Syrian opposition, which controls Izaz , accused ISIS organization of carrying out the explosion.
On January 31st, Bab al-Hawa cross point administration on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey banned the entry of issue number 258 of Enab Baladi newspaper because the issue included critical opinions of al-Nusra Front.
As for releases, Fatih al-Sham Front (former al- Nusra) and the Army of Conquest released journalists Obada al-Mansur and Musa al-Abdullah after they spent months in the jail.
SJFC in SJA calls for respecting the freedom of press and ensuring the safety of workers in the press field. It also calls for the accountability of those responsible for committing violations against Syrian media and demands actors in Syria and the concerned international parties to activate the international media laws on the protection of journalists and to work for the defense of journalists, freedom of press and the right to transfer information in Syria.
2 /2/ 2017
Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms
Syrian Journalists Association
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