A monthly report released by the Syrian Journalists Association coinciding with the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.

The Syrian Journalists Association stated that the safety and security of journalists in Syria remain at risk in light of the ongoing violations, ferocity, shelling, and arrests that threaten them.

In their monthly report, issued in conjunction with the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the association emphasized that ending impunity for crimes against journalists in Syria is one of the most challenging and complex tasks given the current Syrian reality, and ending impunity is an essential condition for ensuring freedom of expression and access to information for all citizens.

The Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms within the association documented three violations against the media in Syria last October. Syrian government forces were responsible for the most fatal violation, leading to the death of a media activist in Idlib, while the Syrian opposition forces were responsible for the other two violations in Azaz and Afrin, north of Aleppo.

In detail, the researchers at the association recorded the killing of media activist Mohammed Othman on the night of Saturday, 28/10/2023. He succumbed to his injuries after being wounded due to the Syrian government’s shelling of Idlib city on Thursday, 26/10/2023, while he was covering the shelling in the city. This brings the total number of documented media casualties since 2011 to 467 journalists.

In addition to this, elements of the civilian police affiliated with the Syrian opposition physically assaulted journalist Ayham Hilal and prevented him from engaging in journalistic coverage while he was in front of the PTT center in Azaz, northern Syria.

Furthermore, the civilian police affiliated with the Syrian opposition in Afrin, north of Aleppo, detained media activist Saleh Al-Fares, also known as “Abu Sham,” before releasing him in early November.

During the past month, the Syrian regime’s security forces released journalist Ali Dawood on 1/10/2023, about a week after his arrest in Jableh in the countryside of Latakia. His arrest was due to a Facebook post in which he criticized the decision to raise fuel prices.

The Syrian Journalists Association concluded by affirming that the Syrian regime and other de facto authorities continue to reject any commitment to adopting effective measures to protect independent journalism. Therefore, SJA called on the United Nations and the international community to enhance the legal frameworks and procedures aimed at combating violence and impunity in crimes against journalists and civilians alike. It also urged international organizations to contribute to enhancing the independence, sustainability, and diversity of the media in Syria.

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