The Syrian Network for Human Rights has issued its annual report on the most prominent violations against media professionals in Syria on World Press Freedom Day. The report states that it has documented the killing of 711 journalists and media workers since March 2011 by parties to the conflict and dominant forces in Syria. These murders include 52 resulting from torture. The report noted that violations against citizen journalists and freedoms of opinion and expression have continued since the outbreak of the popular movement in Syria, nearly 11 years ago.
The report reviewed the toll of the most prominent violations suffered by journalists and media workers in Syria from March 2011 to May 2022. It highlighted the most significant violations recorded from World Press Freedom Day last year in May 2021 to May 2022, and listed the most prominent incidents that occurred during the same period. Since the outbreak of the popular movement, the various parties to the conflict had engaged in practices that violate freedoms of the press, opinion, and expression.
According to the report, the Assad regime bears the greatest responsibility for Syria’s worst ratings in the world. The regime completely controls state media, and restricts freedom of opinion and expression for both media professionals and citizens.
The report recorded the deaths of 711 journalists and media workers, including seven children and six women, including nine foreign journalists. 52 were killed as a result of torture, with at least 1,563 more being injured. The Syrian regime has been responsible for killing 552 children, one woman, five foreign journalists, and 47 people who were tortured in detention centres. 24 more died at the hands of Russian forces, which means that the regime and its Russian ally are responsible for nearly 82% of the victim journalists and media workers. The Syrian regime is responsible for nearly 91% of the victims of torture inside its official and informal detention centers.
According to the report, ISIS killed 64 people, including one child, two women, three foreign journalists, and three victims of torture. Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) killed eight people, with two of them dying. All armed opposition factions and the national army killed 25 people, including one child and three women.
According to the report, SDF has killed four journalists and media workers since March 2011. Coalition forces have killed one person. The report said that 33 people, including one foreign journalist, were killed by other parties.
In terms of arbitrary detention or forced disappearance from March 2011 to May 2022, the report recorded at least 1,250 arrests and abductions of journalists and media workers by parties to the conflict and the dominant forces in Syria. Of these victims, at least 443 — including six women and 17 foreign journalists — remain in detention or forced disappearance, according to the report. 368 people remain in detention or forced disappearance by Syrian regime forces. This includes five women and four foreign journalists, or approximately 83%, who remain in detention or forced disappearance. 48 people, including one woman and eight foreign journalists, have been arrested by ISIS and are still being held under forced disappearance. According to the report, eight journalists and media workers remain in detention or enforced disappearance by HTS. Twelve foreign journalists are being held by all armed opposition factions and the national army, while SDF is detaining seven people.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.