The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that at least 42 journalists and media activists were killed in Syria in 2017, including a woman.
In a report released on Thursday, the Network pointed out that regime forces and their allies were responsible for the majority of deaths of journalists and media workers during the reporting period. The report indicated that the Assad regime and Russian forces were responsible for the death of at least 21 media workers.
According to the report, hardline militant groups were responsible for the death of 11 media workers, while three more journalists were killed in attacks the monitoring group said were untraceable.
The international anti-ISIS coalition forces responsible for the death of one media worker, while six others were killed by groups the Network said it was unable to identify.
The Network noted that 47 journalists were injured while doing their work, 37 of whom were injured in bombardment by the Russian and Assad regime air forces.
At least 93 journalists were kidnapped or detained in Syria in 2017, most of whom were later released, except for six journalists who are still detained by the Assad regime.
The Network stressed the need for careful, serious investigations into violations against journalists and media workers so that perpetrators are held to account given the “vital role” of journalists in covering events inside the war-torn country.
The Network said that the Assad regime was responsible for the death of hundreds of journalists in Syria, calling for condemnation of all violations of freedom of media by all parties to the conflict. It called on the international community, especially the UN Security Council, to shoulder its responsibilities towards the protection of media workers in Syria.
The Network concluded its report by calling on the guarantor states to deter the Assad regime from carrying out with arbitrary detention of journalists and media activists. It also called for exerting pressure on the Assad regime to reveal the fate of journalists and media workers who are currently in its custody.
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on late 2017 said that it recorded a decrease in the number of violations against journalists worldwide in 2017, but cautioned in its annual report that in some countries, including Syria, “killings continue at frightening levels.”
Reporters Without Borders last month said that Syria ranked first in the world for the second consecutive year as the world’s most dangerous country for journalists. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)