Syria: Risks Face Journalists in Daraa

Syria: Risks Face Journalists in Daraa

Reports | 21 10 2016

The media activist Mohammed Alloh was injured during practicing his work in the city of Daraa, then had to migrate out of Syria, while the two activists "Mohammad Khatib" and "Ali Masarwa" remained inside the country, and each of them has his own story in facing difficult circumstances threaten their work.

Media activists  played a major role in conveying what is happening indeed on the ground in Syria, and they have been subjected to a lot of security risks by both: Syrian regime forces, and many opposition factions and extremist.

Why do journalists migrate?

A lot of journalists suffered injuries during covering the fighting inside Syria, what affected their lives drastically, and others were permanently disabled.

The journalist Mohammed Alloh was injured in one of the battles in the city of Daraa -Southern Syria-  between the Syrian regime forces and opposition fighters, then he was forced to emigrate to Europe in order to get the suitable medical treatment!

Alloh who was wounded in 2014, says: "After the injury, I was transferred to Jordan, and stayed there for a year, as a result of unintended medical errors, then I had to emigrate to Germany in order to for follow-up my treatment there."

He added: "The neurological disabilities in my left leg may be semi-permanent, and my health situation is non-stable, but I am following the treatment", then he concluded with saying a sentence using Daraa’s dialect: "I do not know what is going to happen."

 

Kidnapping threatens journalists

The risks are not only in the regime-held territories, but also in the opposition-held regions there are extremist factions threatening the work of these activists, journalists, and threatening their lives as well.

According to "Mohammad Khatib" who is also a media activist in the city of Daraa until now, the danger differentiates from one person to another depending on the activity he does, it is possible that the Journalist get kidnapped or killed when he enters the backstage of the armed factions or Islamist groups, especially if he tried to uncover a hidden truth. The result then will be killing or displacement depending on the faction policy towards media activism.

He adds: "Unfortunately, what is happening is far away from any action of protecting journalists", referring to the ongoing attacks on journalists without receiving any reaction to protect them.

Freedom of expression is dangerous!

Still, the duty of the press is to tell the truth as it happened away from the niceties and changing facts, and he has to bear the punishment that may be suffered by any party whether it was armed or civil.

About that, Masarwah explains: "If I expressed any negative attitudes towards any behavior that may be practiced by any party or faction in Daraa province, I may subject to many risks, like vilification or accusing me of being bias to any faction or party."

What about the reaction by the factions? Masarwah answers: "It may be very strong, such as murder, kidnapping, and there were many examples happened to many journalists, where they paid their lives, in order to tell the truth."

None stop working!

Each journalist needs tools to help him in covering any event professionally, then the professional media outlets outside the country can follow it up and refine it, but the difficulty lies in getting these tools.

The journalist Hasan Zaidi spoke about the difficulties faced by the journalists inside the country, saying: "With the revolution developments, the journalists inside the country had to become professional more than before, so they had many challenges, the most important was obtaining online services and electricity, and maintaining their tools away from bombing and destruction on their targeted headquarters by the Syrian regime forces, in an attempt to silence the media machine that exposes and document abuses everywhere."

Despite all the surrounding threats, but many media activists in Daraa, cling to work in their homeland, after expanding the violations circle to include a lot of parties to the conflict.

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