Press Freedom: Syrian Regime and AANES Arrest Journalists

Freedom of the press in Syria is more fragile than ever, as both the Syrian regime and the AANES are repressing journalists, according to Baladi News.

Critical Syrian journalist Kinan Waqaf published a video on Saturday in which he revealed that regime intelligence had raided his home. The raid came after Waqaf reported on the appearance of well-known actors Sulaf Fawakherji and her husband Wael Ramadan alongside Bashar al-Assad.

During the recording, Waqf said that members of the intelligence branch had raided his house with full military equipment.

Waqaf asked that his followers take care of his children if he is arrested by the security services.

The raid on the House of Waqaf followed a post on his official Facebook page criticizing the president’s reception of actors while lifting subsidies for 600,000 families.

Arrest and dismissal

Waqaf was dismissed from his job at al-Wahda newspaper under pressure from “powerful actors” and accusations that he was working for a “foreign power” — a standard charge leveled against any person that crosses “red lines” in Syria.

In March 2021, Waqaf was imprisoned after publishing reports exposing corruption by officials.

Read Also: 143 Arbitrary Arrests in January, Including Children: Syrian Network

Since his release from prison in May, Waqaf has been subjected to investigations and accusations of causing incitement, public resentment, and pushing people to demonstrate.

Security branches tightened the net around Waqaf and left him unemployed, ordering him not to work in the private sector. This forced Waqaf to borrow money from other friends.

Waqaf ended up selling his personal belongings to secure his children’s livelihood.

SDF kidnapped a journalist from his home in Qamishli

Elsewhere, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) kidnapped a journalist Sunday morning from his home in Qamishli.

According to sources, at midnight, a masked armed group belonging to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) took a Kurdish media journalist from Qamishli city, in Hassakeh countryside, to an unknown destination.

The sources explained that the journalist, named Sabri Fakhri, works for ARK TV. He was reportedly kidnapped from his home in the city of Qamishli and taken to an unknown destination.

Fakhri’s abduction comes just hours after a masked group kidnapped Bawer Mulla Ahmed, a reporter for Yekiti Media, from his home in Qamishli.

Kurds opposed to Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) holding arms in Syria are subjected to threats, kidnappings, and arrests—particularly those associated with the Kurdish National Council.

 

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.


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