Syrian Activists: Crimes Against Media Workers Must Stop

Media organizations in Syria are speaking out against the increasing harassment of journalists by jihadist groups in the country. Following recent abuses by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), advocacy groups in Syria and around the world have launched a campaign demanding an end to crimes against Syrian media workers.

The Global Voices Advocacy community is deeply concerned about threats and attacks against free speech posed by extremist groups taking over areas free of regime control in Syria. While the Syrian regime's tradition of censorship, monopoly over communication infrastructures, and repression against journalists and media activists is well-known, violations of freedom of expression in so-called “liberated” areas reveal a tragic trend.

We join other local and international organizations in demanding support of press freedom and freedom of expression, the release of detainees and an end to the crimes and abuses committed by ISIS in Syria. A campaign effort is under way at freepressforsyria.com.

PETITION STATEMENT: FREE PRESS FOR SYRIA

In its last report, Reporters Without Borders considers Syria “the world’s most dangerous country for journalists.” Priority targets of the regime and its security forces since 2011, Syrian journalists are now facing an increasing deadly threat since 2013: the Jihadist militias.

Facing retaliation if they denounce the abuses aloud, and facing extinction if they don't, Syrian media have chosen the former. Despite intimidation and threats, Syrian media are uniting for the first time and standing up together to demand an end to the crimes committed against all journalists. This is unprecedented and holds potential for real change. This coalition for press freedom and against intolerance has the potential to be the core of a vast popular movement.

However, Syrian media are taking a very serious risk by doing so, and their action will only have an impact if they receive enough national and international support to make a difference.

Please sign the petition to support the Syrian media who refuse the alternative between a criminal regime and intolerant extreme Islamists, and who show the possibility of a third way, equidistant from the Syrian regime and the Jihadist militias.

To sign this petition, visit Avaaz.org. This petition is available in Arabic, English, French, and Italian.

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