The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that at least 634 journalists and media activists have been killed in Syria in the past seven years.
In a report that was released on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the Network said that an average of two journalists were killed in Syria every week. It noted that there has been an unprecedented level of violations against journalists and media activists in Syria since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in March 2011.
The Network said in its report that the Assad regime is responsible for up to 83% of violations against journalists, adding that the crimes it is committing amount to crimes against humanity.
The Network said that the Assad regime sought deliberately and systematically to crack down on the media activity and committed hundreds of violations against journalists and citizen journalists, such as killings, arrest and torture in order to hide the human rights violations it is practicing against the Syrian people.
The rights group said it had recorded nearly 1,124 cases of arrests and kidnappings, noting that 408 journalists are still missing or forcibly disappeared.
The Network called on the UN Security Council to effectively to combat the policy of impunity by referring the violations in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). It called on the international community to exert pressure on Russia and China to prevent them from using the veto power against referring Syria to the ICC.
The Network urged the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to condemn all attacks and acts of violence against journalists. It stressed that the International Commission of Inquiry should investigate incidents of targeting media activists and exposing violations against the Syrian people. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)