Reporters Without Borders (RSF) expressed its deep concern over the safety of around 70 journalists in Dara’a and Quneitra provinces who are now caught between the border and advancing Assad forces. It warned that those journalists are at risk of being subjected to particularly severe reprisals as they have covered the uprising and worked on documenting Assad regime’s violations of human rights since the revolution began in 2011.
In a statement issued on Monday, the NGO defending freedom of information and the press said that it had a received a list of the names of 69 journalists who are now trapped in Quneitra and Dara’a provinces. It noted that the journalists, who compiled the list themselves, are in grave danger.
Dozens of journalists have been trapped in southern Syria since the Assad regime’s army retook most of Dara’a province. Some of these journalists have told RSF they fear being executed or imprisoned as soon as the Assad regime regains control of the entire area in southwestern Syria.
The Syrian Coalition expressed its deep concern that the trapped journalists might face the same fate as the one faced by Palestinian-Syrian photographer Niraz Saied who was killed under torture in Assad’s prisons after three-year detention.
In a letter sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on July11, RSF Director General Christophe Deloire said: “A humanitarian corridor or discreet access to a territory at peace in one of the adjoining countries is among the possible options.”
RSF called on the United Nations to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the trapped journalists who are exposed to extremely grave danger in southern Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)