Three Media Activists Killed, 11 Kidnapped and Arrested, and Four Injured in February 2015

Media Activists Killed

Introduction
Media reality in Syria has become a dangerous unsuitable working environment for professional independent journalism. As more and more crimes and violations are being perpetrated against media activists and journalists, in addition to the growing void in the media scene and the weapon’s dominance over the power of word, the commitment to the principles and ethics of journalism have been considerably undermined, credibility, accuracy, and objectivity in covering the news have all been hugely disregarded, facts and truth are obscured, the difficulty to monitor the news is increasing, and politicized media is growing stronger at the expense of the independent journalism.
Obstacles and difficulties facing human rights and media activism are increasing, in synchronization with lack of reliability which reached a critical and dangerous level. This situation manifests itself significantly through a media chaos, contradictory and misleading information. Politicization and militarization of media and the continuous bleeding of most of the media experts on the grounds – hundreds of media activists were lost, whether they were killed, arrested, kidnapped, fled out of fear or seeking livelihood were among the main reasons behind this huge deterioration of media reality.
The lack of protection and serious efforts to protect the freedom of media, the unsafe environment amid the critical security conditions and ongoing violations and crimes against media activists, and the lack of professional independently-financed media institutions that can offer professional training and employment chances for media activists are the most notable challenges and obstacles in the field of media today in Syria. These obstacles prevent media from being able to keep up with the rapid and complicated development on many levels which results in it being incapable of playing its integral and vital role of monitoring and reporting news.
As we face this harsh reality that lacks the foundations of the free professional media and the results of hiding the truth, silencing mouths, and obscuring facts, SNHR affirms the necessity of taking serious and immediate actions to save what could be saved in Syria and renews its condemnation of all the violations against media’s freedom and truth-covering regardless of the involved parties and its kind or magnitude. SNHR also stresses the importance of respecting media work, insuring the safety of those who are working in that vital field, and paying them special consideration. The perpetrators of violations against journalists, activists, and media activists must be brought to justice and the International Community, represented by the Security Council, should shoulder its responsibilities to protect media activists in Syria.

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