Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
May 3, 2022
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) commends the role of journalists and media people who commit to integrity and credibility, especially in the liberated areas in Syria. It also commends their 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 lauds the journalists and activists who have stood with the Syrian Revolution since day one using limited resources but with hearts that believe in freedom. Those have courageously worked to reveal the reality that the Assad regime’s media has sought to distort by trying to discredit the revolution, distort the Syrian people’s demands, and spread disinformation about daily events.
Since seizing power, the Assad regime has restricted the press and media and used them to promote its false narrative in violation of freedom, which is the basis of journalistic work. With the start of the revolution, the media were the number one target of the Assad regime and its militias because they exposed its violations against the Syrian people and portrayed the reality of the popular movement against the regime. According to rights groups, more than 580 journalists (including foreigners) have been killed by the Assad regime and its allies since 2011, with thousands more detained.
The press is still restricted and deprived of its rights in the Assad regime-controlled areas due to the policy of repression, restriction, politicization and falsification of the truth that the regime adopts. The situation further worsened with the regime’s recent issuance of decisions preventing Syrian citizens from speaking up against the deteriorating living conditions, the rampant corruption, or criticizing the regime’s criminal policies in a blatant consolidation and legalization of the stifling of freedom of expression.
The SOC and the free Syrian people will continue with the struggle until they achieve a transition to a new Syria that guarantees dignity, freedom of expression, creativity for all its citizens. It calls 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.