In the past few days, the Autonomous Administration-controlled areas of northern and eastern Syria have witnessed three incidents in which media channels have been targeted.
On Sunday, the Department of Information issued a decree suspending the work of Rudaw TV in northern and eastern Syria, withdrawing all work permits and credentials granted to the channel’s employees.
The Media Department justified the decision by saying that the Kurdistan-based channel was “stirring up sectarian strife, distorting the image of institutions in the region and harming the social fabric.”
“The Autonomous Administration’s decision is a crime,” Rudaw TV said in a statement. “It is a political decision. Rudaw TV operates professionally in accordance with the laws in place wherever the channel works.”
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The network added that the action against it “has no legal basis,” arguing that the channel “covered the suffering of the region’s people and presented that suffering to Autonomous Administration officials”.
On Monday, the Kurdish National Council issued a statement condemning what it described as the “tyranny of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) media body,” intending to close the channel’s office.
The council noted that in the past two days, the party has also arrested the journalist, Bawar Mulla Ahmed, a reporter for the Yekiti Media website, after raiding his home late Saturday night.
Sabri Fakhri, a correspondent for ARK News, was also arrested after his home was raided and his phone confiscated.
“The targeting of media professionals and media organizations at this time by the Autonomous Administration and its armed groups is an unjustified escalation aimed at free expression,” the council said in a statement.
“We believe that (PYD), with its unchecked power, denies our people’s free will in favor of narrow partisan agendas, which generally push the region towards significant risks,” the council added, calling on the U.S.-led international coalition to intervene.
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.