This annual report reviews the outcome violations committed against journalists, citizen journalists and media centers in Syria. The report release coincides with the anniversary of foundation of the Syrian Journalists Associations launched on February 20, 2012. It also concides with the approaching of the sixth anniversary of the Syrian revolution and in light of receding military operations in the country recently due to the Russian-sponsored ceasefire. Russia whose air raids have killed several media professionals as well thousands of civilians victims who have fallen victims to these air raids.
With last years’ violations, the Syrian journalistic center for freedoms in the Syrian Journalist Association has documented 784 violations perpetrated against media professionals in Syria since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in mid- March 2011. Of the violations recorded, 379 were instances were media professionals were killed.
In 2016 alone 183 violations including 52 cases of killing were documented. The number decreased compared to 2015 when 189 violations were recorded, but both are an increase in comparison to 142 documented violations in 2014.
The Syrian regime remains at the top of the list of actors responsible for violations committing 86 violations in 2016. The Democratic Union Party (PYG) comes second on the list with 23 documented violations. ISIS is responsible for 20 violations, and the Nusra Front and Jaish al-Fateh committed 15 violations. Russia committed eight violations, and unknown actors committed 17 other violations.
For the third consecutive year, Aleppo governorate came first on the Syrian province list in terms of violations. A recorded 78 violations were perpetrated in Aleppo, followed by 22 violations in Hasakah, 20 in Idlib and 19 in Damascus countryside. The highest percentage of violations happened in the middle of 2016: 32 violations were perpetrated in August, followed by 30 in June. In contrast, the end of 2016 witnessed a decrease in the number of violations which fell to 11 in December. Nineteen centers, offices and media outlets were exposed to different forms of violation during 2016. The number contrasted with 2015 when 31 violations were documented and the 13 recorded incidents during 2014. The violations against media related offices include bombing them, burning newspapers, preventing media outlets from distribution and banning media outlets from covering events.
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