PFIF: Syria Must stop Violations Against Journalists
Paris Francophone Institute for Freedoms (PFIF) called for stopping the systematic violations against journalists working in Syria, including prosecuting and detaining them to obstruct their work.
PFIF documented the killing of 24 media staff, at least 28 injured and 31 arrested and kidnapped in 2018.
Syria, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), is the most dangerous country for journalists around the world, with no deterrent or accountability measures against journalists, and ranked 177th for the fourth consecutive year in the index of freedom of the press.
PFIF affirms the responsibility of the Syrian government and opposition fighters to respect international human rights by respecting civilians on the ground, including journalists and media workers.
The Institute stated that journalists who work in Syria live in a very dangerous and complex reality, as they carry out the task of conveying the details of the Syrian revolution. Some of them were killed and others injured. Hundreds of them were arrested in deliberate operations aimed at silencing the voices trying to convey what happened.
Any form of intimidation against journalists, media activists or media organizations should be rejected under any pretext and by any faction or party.
Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are an inalienable human right and any violation of this internationally recognized right must be condemned and confronted by all means guaranteed by international humanitarian law.
Under international humanitarian law, civilian journalists performing their duties in armed conflict must be respected. IHL provides civilian journalists with the same protection as civilians as long as they do not take a direct part in hostilities.
PFIF calls on all Syrian and international civil society institutions, political institutions and media groups to take appropriate measures to expose and oppose the abusive practices against journalists and to protect independent media.
It also calls for the immediate release of all journalists and detainees held by the security services of the Syrian regime and any armed group on Syrian territory and to take relevant measures to ensure the safety of journalists and freedom of expression in Syria.