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Period Covered: 1/3/2013 to 14/8/2013 This report is about violation committed by some armed group ( this report doesn't include the violation committed by Syrian Regime in the same period ) Syrian Network for Human Rights and in order to address this dangerous violation that has been committed in the past four months against freedom of opinion and expression, and media freedoms, exceeding the level of individual cases, and turning gradually into a gagging policy and not allowing to criticize the battalion commanders and armed opposition's leaders, felt that we have to publish this report to spot the lights on the foundations and legal controls of freedom of speech and expression, and media freedoms in international laws and conventions, and the way to confront any violation committed by the armed battalions and its legitimacy or others. In the last period, phenomenon of abduction and attack on media activist and foreign journalists have been repeated inside areas controlled by opposition, it is very hard to know the exact number of the abducted journalists, cause some countries and families refuse to announce the disappearance one of its nationals, as avoid the press to talk about them, in order to not exposed the released negotiations into risk or failure. More than 35 cases of abduction and arrest of media activist and journalists have been documented and committed by extremist armed groups or Mafias, and we can't distinguish between them, mostly the aim of kidnapping foreign is money, while the aim of kidnapping activists in threat and intimidation in order to prevent them from publishing any violations or abuse committed by those armed rebel, their orientation is exclusionary don't accept criticism.
Within the last five months, SNHR documented 20 major violation against media activist, foreign and Arab journalists, distributed over the months according to the following order: March: two major violations April: One major violations May: three major violations June: Six major violations July: Eight major violations Report's Details : March: two major violations in the mid of March, Popular Kurdish Protection (PKP) of The Democratic Union Party arrested the media activist Sirdar Ahmad in Afrin of Aleppo. the end of March, journalist Ahmad Alahmad from Hama, shot by Almajd brigade, because what he wrote a critique of their actions. fighters of Almajd brigade tried many times to arrest his, but Free Syrian Army's fighters prevented them. Ahmad ALahmad also have been threatened with death in 2012, by Abo Haitham, he is Christian who heads an armed group in Saqiliba of Hama countryside, and kidnapped 15 civilians, when he intervenes with elders in the area to release them, Ahmad told Abo Haitham that if he didn't release the civilians, he will publish the incident and condemn it, so Abo Haitham sent two men on a motorcycle shot Ahmad's car. April: One major violations: 4/4/2013, media team from RAY TV Italian channel enter Latakia countryside to cover the humanitarian situation there, the team was consist of 5 journalist ( Amidiio Ricotchi, Andria Kolavoleah, Elio Viniali, Italian nationalisms, Swan Dabous: Italian from Syrian origins, and don't speak Arabic, another one Italian with Syrian origin speak Arabic ), they were accompanying with media activist from the area and FSA's fighters in the first day when they enter Yamidiah village carefully and quietly, the second day they went towards Ghasania village, and in the way back near Alshaghar village, the photographer were taking some photos to the areas controlled by Al Nusra front, despite of warning activities for him to hide the camera, and warning the team leader Swzan Dabous from crossing or approaching from this roads, indeed Nusr front's fighters arrest the full member including driver.
Civilians activities in the city knew that the front hide the team, who told them that they were under investigation, and warn them to not tell anything to the media about the incident. But the Italian Foreign Ministry announced their disappearance, they have been corresponded to not escalate but the another day, most of the Italian newspaper and in a wrong way published the news, which make it complicated, they released the activities and driver next day, and after vigorous attempts and pressure by the released activities, the front released them after one week , they haven't been tortured, the real reason was finding photos of military sites in Suzan camera, they delete these photos and then handled them to the Italian security near the border.
May: three major violations: 25/5/2013, Sharia Body arrested journalist Shaaban Alhasan, then released him. 17/5/2013, Sharia body arrested media activists Shame Alahmad, Maan Mohamad, Milad Shehabi , then released them. 25/5/2013, many media activities exposed to harassments, insults, and even threat them with weapon by Free Syrian Army, which led the media activities to strike for two hours in protest. June: six major violations: 6/6/2013, four Masked Armed on Azaz highway of Aleppo countryside, stopped a car carrying two France journalists and a Syrian activity, they beat him and dumped him, and kidnapped both :Didier François ( 53 years old ) work in Europe 1 radio station, he is an experienced journalist in covering armed conflicts, worked in Mali, Israel, Iraq, Chechnya, Kosovo, and wounded several times, he is the son of military doctor, and Edouard Elias ( 22 years old ) a freelance photographer doing tasks for the same station, he prepared his first wars investigation of ALeppo in August m and back to Syria in January 2013. Photo of Edouard: http://www.dc4mf.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/articles-largeimage/articles/images/le-photographe-francais.jpg 13/6/2013, Al Nusra front arrested Media activist Mostafa Alahmadi in Aleppo 16/6/2013, Al Nusra front arrested two Media activists: Mosaab Alhamidi and Yalmas Basha in Raqqa.
16/6/2013 FSA's fighters Beat Abu Mahmoud, member of Sham News Network, in Daraa and broke his camera. 26/6/2013, the organize of (Islamic state of Iraq and ash-Sham) arrested near Otma camp on Turkish border 4 youths, later released two of them after beaten hardly, they had to receive treatment in hospital, and preempted media activist Abood Alhadad, he is in twenties from Lattakia, still in detention without any reason. 29/6/2013, Kurdish Democratic Union Party attack journalist Farhad Ahmah in Qameshli. July: six major violations: 2/7/2013, we got news about disappearance of French Journalist Nicolas Henin in Raqqa city, we couldn't disclosure the incidents' circumstances. 8/7/2013, Democratic Union Party (PKK) arrested media activist Abdulrahim Takhubi https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=208615952595410&set=np.29665 645.100003720313764&type=1&theater¬if_t=notify_me 9/7/2013, Islamic state of Iraq and ash-Sham arrested media activist Mohamad Noor Matar in front of governorate building, moments later, standing with a women tried to sit-in front of the state building in Raqqa, must be mentioned that Mohamad Noor is brother of journalist Ammer Mattar. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9Bj18tlYYKBanhyZGNuejNNZGs/edit?usp= sharing 24/7/2013 at 11 AM, an armed group broke into the media bureau in Saraqeb of Idlib and kidnapped the Poland journalist Marsen Sdier, born in 1977, he is a professional war photographer, 11 years ago focused his work in photography, humanitarian affairs, he works with Les curieux France Agency, mentions that Marsen had arrived to Saraqeb before one week of the incident to train some of the activists on professional photography, France Agency, mentions that Marsen had arrived to Saraqeb before one week of the incident to train some of the activists on professional photography, when some media activities tried to prevent them the they beat them too as what happened with media activist Manhal Baresh, who suffered bodily harm as he beaten with the butt of gun, except stolen all the contexts of the bureau, must be mentioned that media activist Manhal graduated from literature college from Damascus University and have been arrested and tortured by government’s forces since the beginning of Syrian revolution 4/5/2011. Attached photo for Marsen took from January 2010 in Saraqeb:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-akprn2/p480x480/992832_613928035304290_709479055_n.jpg Photo for Manhal covered with blood https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9Bj18tlYYKBZGZZU2hjRGRzN2c/edit?usp =sharing 25/7/2013, opposed Orient TV reporter Obaida Batal 28 years old, with the crew including Eng. Husam Nazim, Engineer assistant Aboud Atek, and stole their electronic equipment in addition to live broadcast car , in Tal Rifaat of Southern Aleppo countryside by unknown groups. Photo of Obaida: https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-akash4/s720x720/999647_696835167009246_214526062_n.jpg 26/7/2013, Journalist Ali Abo Almajd reporter in Alaan TV arrested by Hozaifa Bin Alyaman brigade in Raqqa while doing his duty, they raid his house and took him to one of the security branches ( belonged to the regime previously ), he tortured for three hours continuously as he told us, Manhal didn't have any charge, it was personal connecting to evacuate the house he lives in and nothing to do with media, and then they released him, he submitted complaine against Hozaifa Bin Alyaman brigade to the legitimacy court, where they apology and pledged to not repeat this acts. Photo for reporter Ali Abo Almajd: https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-akash4/q71/1004810_467851633311621_2080775700_n.jpg Signs of Beaten on Ali: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9Bj18tlYYKBYkZQaXdYUHVEa1k/edit The news on Alaan TV were Ali work as reporter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y9gkH-4mu0&feature=youtu.be 4/8/2013, Arrest the activist of Syrian Media Centre of Aleppo Mohaiman Alhalabi by Sham Islamic Freedom Movement for few hours and then release him , the reason of arresting him that he raise a sign through showing festive and wrote on Airport is 7 Km far and not to show her" Arrest the photographer Omar Alkhani and his wife by Islamic state of Iraq and ash-Sham in Aleppo, while he was going to install an internet satellite to the Free Union Doctors in industrial zone. Omar known with his prominent media activist in the revolution. Photo took by Omar and published on Guardian cover:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=280428765426۰۲٥ Another photo published on Washington Post cover: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=219552068180۳٦۲ His documental movie the most prominent is " death visited me and there was no coffee of the sell " movie Promo link: http//:pollenfilms.wordpress.com/ The film has been participated in the Human Rights Film Festival in Argentina: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=278668528935۳۸۲ there are still dozens of disappeared journalists without any mention on them, including French tohn cantly ( disappeared in August 2012), and Austin Tyce and James Foley ( disappeared in November 2012 ), they are American Independent journalists. All the Foreign journalists entered Secretly Syria via by Lebanese or Turkish borders, cause Syria considering that Syria does not grant visas to the foreign press, unless very limited, and lately enactment a law to punish with prison and fine every one enter the Syrian territory in an illegal way. 11/8/2013, Media activist Ibrahim, he was covering the news in Alsukari neighborhoods event in Aleppo arrested by Islamic state of Iraq and ash-Sham in Aleppo. Arrest Media Activist known as Abo Hamdo by Islamic state of Iraq and ashSham in Aleppo during a revolution in the neighborhood. 14/8/2012, arrest Media activist Mohamad Alomar in Alatareb city of Aleppo countryside by Islamic state of Iraq and ash-Sham in Aleppo with ruin searcher Samer Saleh ( born in 1988 ) https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9Bj18tlYYKBRnk0ZW9HWGhab1E/edit?us p=sharing Legal Conclusion: Rule 34. Civilian journalists engaged in professional missions in areas of armed conflict must be respected and protected as long as they are not taking a direct part in hostilities. Armed groups violated clearly Customary IHL, by committing crimes against media activists should punish who did it.
Political Syrian Opposition represented with National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces to take upon his responsibility in area not controlled by Regime and to punish who did such violations, The Coalition must adhere to full Customary IHL and apply it seriously and in Practice.
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