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Six years of Syrian civil war: 211 journalists killed, at least 21 held hostage or missing and at least 26 imprisoned

By Dominic Ponsford

Some 211 journalists and citizen journalists have been killed in the course of Syria’s civil war, which began with a wave of protests exactly six years year ago – according to Reporters Without Borders.

The press freedom group has urged all parties to the conflict to protect the journalists who cover it on the ground.

Syria has for years been the world’s deadliest country for journalists and citizen journalists, who are caught between the Assad regime and its allies, Islamic State and many other radical Jihadi groups, and the Kurdish forces.

Reporters Without Borders UK bureau director Rebecca Vincent said: “The fact that these atrocious acts have carried on for six long years now is a horrific tragedy.

“RSF calls for the immediate release of all journalists being held in Syria, and for an end to violence against journalists, who are simply trying to do their jobs in covering the conflict. They deserve increased international protection.

“There is also a crucial need to continue to document these violations and to fight impunity.

“To that end, RSF will be cooperating with the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, headed by Mazen Darwish, which was relaunched yesterday in Geneva.

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“Those responsible for these heinous war crimes must be held to account. The UN Security Council must refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court without further delay.”

RSF is currently supporting a lawsuit accusing the Assad regime of murdering Marie Colvin and calling for the UN to appoint a Special Representative for the Safety of Journalists.

Journalism in Syria in numbers(source, RSF):

  • 211 journalists and citizen journalists killed since 2011
  • 19 journalists and citizen journalists in 2016
  • At least 26 journalists and citizen journalists currenty imprisoned
  • At least 21 journalists and citizen journalists held hostage
  • Syria is ranked 177th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

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