On May 3rd of every year, the world commemorates the International Press Freedom Day declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, and on this occasion the Syrian Observatory has documented the killing of 748 Syrian journalists since the protests began on March 15, 2011.
The observatory sources stated that “13 journalists were killed by fighting and Islamic factions, while the Islamic State (ISIS) killed 69 Syrian journalists, including a journalist working as an activist in the Syrian Observatory, in addition to the organization killing five foreign journalists.”
According to the Observatory, the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham, the largest militant group in Syria, has killed 18 journalists, while “38 journalists were kidnapped and forcibly disappeared in the areas controlled by the factions and the Liberation of Al-Sham.”
The Observatory quoted its sources as the Syrian regime’s harassment and arrest of journalists, who hold Syrian or other nationalities, “those who attack the regime in the media, object to its policies, or talk about corruption files.”
A few days ago, The New York Times highlighted Austin Tice, a freelance journalist and former US Marine who disappeared during his journalistic work in Syria in 2012, at a time when Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that his department’s priority was to find Tice.
The observatory said that “the regime forces and their loyal militias killed 541 Syrian journalists,” including seven female journalists, and five activists affiliated with the observatory.
“In addition, he forcibly disappeared and about 552 journalists were arrested in the detention facilities of the regime forces,” according to the observatory.
The observatory indicated that “Russian planes killed 29 Syrian journalists,” while torture inside the regime’s prisons and detention facilities killed 56 others.