SKeyes Statements | Syria
Sky News Arabia announced it has lost contact with its crew on assignment in Syria since October 15. Lebanese cameraman Samir Kassab and Mauritanian correspondent Ishak Moctar went missing north of Aleppo. Today, 20 foreign journalists, photographers and writers are missing in Syria.
In addition to Kassab and Moctar, many other media professionals have been detained or kidnapped in Syria, including but not limited to Bachar Fehmi Al-Qadumi (Palestine), Austin Tice and James Foley (US), Marcin Suder (Poland), Didier François, Edouard Elias, Pierre Torres and Nicolas Hénin (France), Marc Marginedas (Spain) and Konstantin Zhuravlev (Russia). Most kidnappings have taken place since the beginning of 2013 in northern Syria.
The SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom demands the immediate release of Samir Kassab and all the abductees in Syria, particularly the journalists. Also, SKeyes asks the relevant groups to provide evidence showing that they are in good health, as well as any information that may lead to their release as soon as possible.
Syria is the world’s most dangerous place for journalists in light of both the growing threat of abduction and the incidents that led to the killing of dozens of local and foreign journalists. This is why media institutions avoid sending their correspondents to Syria. Gradually, newspapers and international media reports are decreasing the coverage of their tragedy that Syrians are living on a daily basis, which aggravates the crisis and deflects the attention of public opinion.
The attacks carried out against journalists are war crimes that the United Nations, the International Criminal Court and human rights organizations should closely monitor and report in order to eventually prosecute kidnappers and murderers. By targeting journalists, regime forces and extremist opposition groups are committing another crime: hiding the continuous massacre of the Syrian people.