The Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms of the Association of Syrian Journalists said it recorded no fewer than 16 violations against journalists and media workers in Syria in March, pointing to a marked increase in these violations compared to the months of February and January.
In a report issued on Wednesday, the monitoring group said that a media worker was killed and two others were injured in March. The media activist, Mahmoud Abdel-Al, was killed in a Russian airstrike on the town of Jisr al-Shughour west of Idlib. His death has brought to 447 the number of media workers who where killed in Syria since mid-March 2011.
The report indicated that the Assad regime and its Russian ally were responsible for the grossest violations against journalists and media workers. Another journalist was wounded in artillery shelling by the Assad regime, which also arrested a Jordanian journalist in Syria in March.
The Center said that Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham militant group was responsible for eight violations in the past month. The ISIS extremist group was responsible for one violation, while other militant groups were responsible for four violations.
According to the report, the majority of violations took place in northern Syria, including eight in the province of Aleppo, five in Idlib, and one violation in each of the provinces of Hama, Deir Ezzor, and Rural Damascus.
The Center called for respecting the freedom of the press and ensuring the safety of media workers as it said that those responsible for violations must be held accountable. It also called for respecting for the provisions of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)