Damascus, February 20, 2012
Syrians have lived under an authoritarian security regime since the Baath Party seized power in 1963. As a result of this system, The Syrian media has been almost completely absent. Most of the newspapers and magazines were stopped and their properties confiscated. Syrians were denied the right to information and knowledge. One of the fruits of that shift in the lives of Syrians was the severe harm to the Syrian journalists and media professionals, who were placed in one of three paths: As some of them withdrew from the profession, Some of them were excluded. Others were domesticated and absorbed into the mobilization media institutions of the new regime. represented by some mobilization-propaganda newspapers and limited publications, In addition to radio and television .
Syrian journalists have suffered from the reality of division between a few of them in the immigrants and many at home. Whereas many abroad lived under normal life and professional conditions, They succeed due to the objective circumstances surrounding them. Most of them were inside. They face difficult conditions in their daily and professional lives as a result of general conditions in the country governed by emergency law and martial law, And by virtue of their profession, which does not receive the respect and attention of the regime, In addition to the reality of media institutions, In which the appropriate administrative and professional standards are not available for the care and development of the media professions and their workers .
Journalists and their profession have been marginalized in Syria. And when the regime turned towards remedying their deteriorating conditions, They were organized within the framework of a bureaucratic organization called the Union of Journalists in the mid-1970s. Its main objective was to control media workers and subject them to the control and service of the ruling regime. For decades, corrupt directors of institutions, thieves, and agents of agencies have been in charge of the Union of Journalists. And these monopolized the benefits and gifts of the authorities and stole the resources of the Union .
The official Syrian Journalists Union, for the sensitivity of his role, With more security control, starting from the method of appointing its presidency and staff to accepting membership in it, which is subject to the worst kind of bureaucracy, In some of its forms, the Union of Journalists refrained from issuing cards to the participating journalists and limited the working membership, which includes the journalist’s benefiting from his rights, to workers in government institutions .
But the worst part of the union’s work is its absolute bias towards the regime’s repression of peaceful demonstrations since their inception, and even its attempt to justify it through the appearance of the union’s president on satellite channels and the silence on preventing the press and independent media from accessing the events’ sites to cover the truth. In addition to his willful neglect of all the humiliation, torture, arrest and repression that journalists are subjected to in more than two hundred documented cases. Until the moment of drafting this statement, a number of Syrian journalists are still in the absence of prisons, some of them are banned from traveling, some of them are subjected to threats and harm, and some are forcibly removed from their homeland for fear of arrest, while the role of the Union is limited to an archive of journalists’ information that the security services use to further restrict them .
In light of all this, Syrian journalists recorded a number of testimonies describing the reality of what is happening in Syria, and a number of them withdrew from the Syrian Journalists Union in protest of its siding with the regime. Several attempts were made to form a body that unites journalists and defends their rights, but it was prevented by many reasons, the most important of which is the distance of many journalists from Syria. willingly or unwillingly, Many of them are preoccupied with following up on events and covering them firsthand .
The reality of the media professions and the reality of the Union of Journalists, and the needs of Syrian journalists and media professionals, pushing towards the birth of a professional and trade union organization, Those working in these professions include: The revolution of freedom and dignity that the Syrians launched in 2011 came. To make this task a necessity in light of the alignment of many media journalists inside and outside the country on the side of the revolution and their involvement in its ranks and activities, Covering and analyzing the information and developments surrounding the revolution .
The establishment of the association comes as a result of interaction with the movement of the Syrian people. And as an expression of solidarity with him and participation in the revolution against the tyrannical security regime, It is also an expression of siding with the choice of civil institutions that the tyrannical regime emptied and transformed into bureaucratic institutions affiliated with the security regimes .
Today, these attempts are organized into one decade, in which the Syrian journalists announce a new body for them under the name of the “Syrian Journalists Association” to take its desired role in accordance with its by-laws .
With its announcement and formation, its members invite all Syrian journalists to join their association and take their role in it .
The Syrian Journalists Association is a free association whose membership is open to all Syrian journalists and similar persons with unknown identity and Palestinians who were born or reside in Syria. It includes journalists inside Syria and in the migrant, Taking into account all the previous historical and current conditions and in light of the revolution. We, the signatories, have decided to launch our initiative to establish the “Syrian Journalists Association” based on the following considerations :
The Syrian Journalists Association is an independent democratic association. Committed to the contents of the Syrian revolution for freedom and dignity, and their inclination to establish a pluralistic democratic state, It provides justice, equality, freedoms and the rule of law to all its citizens without discrimination. The League is governed by this framework in its interest, its work, its internal relations, and its external relations with other bodies inside and outside Syria .
The Association is a professional and trade union organization. Headquartered in Damascus, It may have branches in any country where it has a grouping of ten or more members. The Association is open to workers in print, written and audio media professions and electronic journalism inside and outside Syria. Membership in the Association shall be accompanied by a professional practice document from the institutions in which the candidates have worked. Or at the suggestion of three founding members of the candidate in the transitional period .
The League takes upon itself the task of seeking to develop the media environment in cooperation with other parties in the future state and society in terms of the constitutional and legal aspects and in the field of practice for the sake of a wider space of freedoms for the media and the public. It pledges assistance and support for the development of public and private press and media institutions in Syria that work in accordance with the goals of the Syrian people for freedom, dignity and a democratic state .
The League emphasizes the pluralism on which the Syrian society is based and the need to open the way for its components to express their creative selves. It celebrates the languages used by the components of the Syrian people, such as Arabic, Kurdish, Assyrian, Turkmen, and other languages .
More than 100 Syrian journalists and media workers signed the statement, including :
Fayez Sarah, Ahmed Hesso, Bassam Jaara, Salma Karkoutly, Iyad Sharbaji, Amer Matar, Hussein Darwish, Omar Al-Asaad, Ghassan Ibrahim, Ibrahim Youssef, Ghalia Qabbani, Omar Idlibi, Ibrahim Al-Jubin, Hossam El Din Mohamed, Maysa Aqib, wael al tamimi, Alia Mansour, Mahmoud Al-Zaybak, Farhan Matar, Lava Khaled, Khawla Hassan Al-Hadid, Ghassan Al-Mufleh, Masoud Akko, Kinda Qanbar, Anas Dumayriyeh, Islam Abu Shakir, Orouba Barakat, Nisreen Traboulsi, Maher Sharafeddine, Mohammed Fattouh, Ibrahim Merhi, Hafeez Abdul Rahman, Fadwa Kilani, Moayad Skif, broken abdullah, Malik Abu Khair, Mahmoud Al-Kilani, Refaat Abu Assaf, moldy cream, Muhyiddin Esau, Laila Safadi, Samir Matar, immortality stare, Zina Erhim, Amer Dawood, Adnan Farzat, Nart Abdul Karim, Hassan Ezzat, Zeina Bitar, Sami Habbal, Suhail Nizamuddin, Basil Abu Hamda, Faten Al-Hamoudi, Ahmed Dadoush, Aqaba Al-Ahmad .
Damascus, February 20, 2012
The association is officially registered
According to the French associations law
W751220283 on 6 July 2013
Access to a safe press environment that guarantees the rights of journalists and freedom of expression.
The Association seeks to be an independent umbrella umbrella for Syrian journalists without discrimination. represent its members, She defends them in various local and international forums.