Even before the emergence of the armed groups in the second half of 2013 and then the extremist groups in 2013, The Syrian regime used the most extreme oppressive policies against journalists and media activists, and expelled and banned 100% of the international news agencies. Although the Syrian regime forces don’t tend to carry out demonstrative operations such ISIS, it is vastly superior to other extremist faction in terms of perpetrating violations against journalists including extrajudicial killings, torture, and arrests.
SNHR documented 31 arrests against journalists who are still either imprisoned or forcibly-disappeared as follows:
The Syrian government: 22 journalists
ISIS: six journalists
Armed groups: three journalists
It is worth noting that this report doesn’t include media activists or civilian journalists as SNHR documented the violations against them in tens of its reports.
Also, these numbers are certainly the minimum due to the considerable difficulties we encounter in the process documenting prisoners which is more difficult than documenting victims as many journalists’ families and the organizations they used to work with are usually afraid to reveal any details about the journalists’ kidnappings and arrests on one hand, and considering that many media organization are already negotiating with the kidnappers and refuse any form of intervention on the other hand.
Fadel Abdulghani, head of SNHR, says: “The imprisoned and forcibly-disappeared journalists and media activists cases must be a concern for every fellow journalist around the world. Highlighting this issue regularly could press on decision-makers to take serious action in order to insure their safety or at least reveal their fate. They must not be forgotten at all. ”