November 2nd is observed as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, a commemoration established by the United Nations during its 68th session in remembrance of the tragic assassination of two French journalists in Mali in 2013.
Syrian journalists face persistent threats, encompassing a range of crimes and violations, at times culminating in the loss of their lives.
Since the onset of protests in Syria in 2011, a multitude of crimes have been perpetrated against Syrian journalists across various regions, with a particular focus on areas controlled by the Syrian government. Regrettably, there has been minimal legal accountability for the majority of those responsible for these offences.
These transgressions encompass the senseless killing and unjust detainment of journalists, as well as the deliberate targeting of media centers in an attempt to conceal gross human rights violations and obscure the truth.
On October 4, the Syrian Journalists Association released its latest monthly report, revealing that the number of violations recorded since the beginning of this year has reached 21. These violations encompass a range of actions, including arrests, detentions, killings, enforced disappearances, death threats, restrictions on media freedoms, attacks on media institutions and centers, and other transgressions.
Since 2011, the Association has documented a total of 1,497 violations against Syrian media and media professionals, occurring in various regions of control, including Idleb, Aleppo, Damascus, Latakia, and Deir-ez-Zor.
Notably, the Syrian regime is responsible for the highest number of violations, followed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Syrian opposition, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), and Turkey, as reported by the Syrian Journalists Association.
Repression of freedom of expression
According to a report from the Director-General of the United Nations agency UNESCO in 2022, it was noted that since 1993, over 1,600 journalists have lost their lives in the pursuit of reporting news and providing vital information to the public. Shockingly, in nine out of ten cases, those responsible for these tragic acts go unpunished.
The culture of impunity exacerbates the cycle of violence, subjecting journalists to a myriad of threats, including abduction, torture, physical assaults, and digital harassment, as highlighted by the organization’s findings.
Furthermore, the report emphasizes that these relentless attacks and threats instill fear in the hearts of media professionals, obstructing the free flow of information, opinions, and ideas to the public.
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.