The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that violations against citizen journalists and freedom of opinion and expression have continued since the outbreak of the revolution in Syria nearly 11 years ago.
In a new report released on Wednesday, the Network said that the Assad regime made Syria the worst country in the world in terms of freedom of press, opinion and expression. It indicated that during the rule of Hafez al-Assad and his son Bashar al-Assad, Syria has never witnessed freedom of press and media work since the Baath Party seized power in March 1963.
The rights group said that it recorded the death of 711 journalists and media workers since March 2011 in Syria, including 52 due to torture, nine foreign journalists, in addition to the injury of at least 1,563 others from March 2011 until May 2022.
The report indicated that the Assad regime and its Russian ally are responsible for about 82% of the death toll, adding that the regime bears responsibility for approximately 91% of the death toll due to torture in its detention centers.
The rights group called for the immediate release of arbitrarily detained journalists and media workers, disclosing the fate of the forcibly disappeared, and repealing all “security laws” issued by the Assad regime, which terribly suppress freedom of opinion and expression.
In a press release issued on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) praised the role of journalists and media people who commit to integrity and credibility, especially in the liberated areas in Syria.
The SOC commended the journalists’ efforts to convey the suffering of the Syrian people and highlight their heroism and courage in their quest for freedom. It stresses freedom of the press and its objectivity in order to express the concerns of peoples and serve as a true mirror of their reality and demands.
The SOC stressed that it will continue, along with the Syrian people, with the struggle until they achieve a transition to a new Syria that guarantees dignity, freedom of expression, creativity for all its citizens. It called on the international community to support political transition in Syria and put an end to this repressive regime that proves, day after day, its corruption, criminality and that it does not belong to this modern era.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)