Assad regime constitutes the foremost antagonist to press liberty

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, a comprehensive report attests that the Assad regime constitutes the foremost antagonist to press liberty and the most lethal threat to journalists in Syria.

The Associations of Syrian Journalists and Free Syrian Lawyers assert that the Syrian regime persistently ranks as the principal perpetrator of transgressions and crimes against journalists and media institutions in Syria, spanning from 2011 through the conclusion of 2022. This substantiates the notion that Assad embodies the press’s nemesis and the most deadly adversary to Syrian journalists.

In an intricate joint report, the two associations elucidate the egregious violations perpetrated by the Syrian regime against the media landscape in Syria. They emphasize the considerable toll that media professionals have endured in their pursuit of conveying accurate information regarding the evolving Syrian milieu since the inception of the peaceful movement in March 2011. During this time, the regime has deliberately targeted journalists through a myriad of violations, including murder, injury, incarceration, and torture.

Drawing upon data from the Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms at the Syrian Journalists Association, the report chronicles 1,471 infractions against the media in Syria documented by various parties from 2011 until the cessation of October 2022. The regime has been implicated in 621 such violations, with murder emerging as the most heinous transgression. Consequently, 316 media professionals out of 464 have perished since 2011.

The report meticulously examines the Syrian regime’s violations against the media between 2011 and the end of October 2022, as documented by the Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms at the Syrian Journalists Association. It endeavors to illuminate the breadth of these transgressions in terms of their numerosity, nature, and geographic dispersion. This analysis informs the legal adaptation of these violations in concordance with international law, as executed by a specialized legal team within the Association of Free Syrian Lawyers.

The report culminates in a series of recommendations, the most salient of which implores the international community and pertinent nations to expedite the implementation of Security Council Resolution No. 2254 of 2015. This involves undertaking pragmatic measures to facilitate a political transition process, buttressed by justice mechanisms that hold criminals accountable and avert impunity. The report also underscores the necessity for vigilance regarding the Syrian regime’s manipulation of justice files, including those pertaining to enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention. The regime’s issuance of legislation contravening human rights and obfuscating accountability underscores the significance of supporting International, regional and local bodies organizations that investigate violations against journalists.

Furthermore, the report advocates for the establishment of an independent mechanism with an international mandate to coordinate and collect claims related to missing and forcibly disappeared individuals, encompassing those engaged in the media sector. It also calls for an integrated program to assist the families of journalists subjected to violations, in order to foster recovery and bolster documentation initiatives regarding transgressions against journalists. Ultimately, this will enable justice mechanisms to prosecute and hold war criminals responsible for their atrocities against journalists.

To peruse the complete report, click here