The Syrian Center for Press Freedoms (SCPF) of the Association of Syrian Journalists said that it had recorded no fewer than 226 violations against journalists and media workers in Syria in 2017, which the Center said it witnessed an upsurge in violations compared to previous years.
In a report released on Thursday, the Center said that as of January 17, 2018, it had recorded a total of 1,082 violations against journalists and media activists in Syria since 2011.
According to the report, at least 43 journalists and media workers were killed in Syria in 2017, 15 of whom were killed in attacks by the Assad regime while 14 others were killed at the hands of the ISIS extremist group. The report indicated that the Russian forces killed five journalists, while six journalists were killed in attacks that the Center said were untraceable.
The Assad regime was responsible for 72 out of the total number of violations in 2017, while ISIS was responsible for 29, the report added. It also listed 28 violations by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham militant group, 24 by the Russian forces, 18 by militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), 15 by other militant groups, and 18 by groups that the Center said it was not able to identify.
The Center reported a decrease in the number of deaths among journalists and media workers in 2017 compared to previous years. It noted that the Assad regime remained on top of the list of parties responsible for violations against journalists and media workers.
The report included three appendices with charts showing the Assad regime on top of the list of violators as well as two lists of names of journalists and media workers who were killed in 2017 and those and who are still in detention.
The report also contain details of the violations committed against journalists and media workers in 2017 in terms of numbers, the parties responsible, types of violations, gender of the victims, the geographic distribution of violations and the reality of journalists and media workers outside Syria and the violations committed against them.
Established in June 2014, the Syrian Center for Press Freedoms is affiliated with the Association of Syrian Journalists and aims primarily to defend press freedoms in Syria and documents violations media workers and media centers in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)