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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

All Storms at a Time

Tuesday , 16 April 2024
Design: Mahmoud Younis

The Samir Kassir Foundation’s 2023 annual report reflects a year marked by profound challenges to freedom of expression, democracy, and human rights across the Levant and beyond. The erosion of norms, epitomized by the war on Gaza and escalating authoritarianism and hate, set a grim backdrop for the Foundation’s work. In the face of these challenges, SKF reaffirms its dedication to upholding human rights and democratic principles as essential foundations for societal progress.

Lebanon emerged as a focal point of the struggle for freedom and journalist safety in 2023. Amidst Israeli aggression and domestic political paralysis, journalists faced unprecedented risks to their safety and independence. The Foundation’s efforts to train journalists in hostile environments and advocate for their rights aim to protect their well-being and ensure the integrity of media coverage.

Palestine bore witness to unspeakable atrocities, with Israel’s genocidal war in the Gaza Strip claiming thousands of lives, including those of journalists targeted for reporting the truth. The deliberate targeting of media workers underscores the existential threat to journalism posed by impunity.

In Syria, the Assad regime’s brutal repression persisted, perpetuating a cycle of violence and suffering that undermines all efforts for peace and accountability. Areas outside regime control have also become open grounds for all types of exactions perpetrated by the myriad armed groups vying for territorial control.

Jordan experienced a regression in media freedoms, as new legislation expanded government control over digital spaces and criminalized dissent. Journalists grappled with the threat of imprisonment for exercising their fundamental right to free expression.

SKF is also involved in efforts to combat information manipulation and strengthen media independence. Initiatives include providing financial assistance, access to advertisement, and capacity development to independent media outlets. By fostering a more informed, resilient, and critically literate society, SKF aims to contribute to a future guided by principles of freedom, equality, and justice, where transparent and accountable media practices uphold the rights of all.

As the Foundation reflects on the challenges of 2023, it remains steadfast in its mission to honor the legacy of Gisèle Khoury and Samir Kassir by defending freedom of expression, promoting independent journalism, and advocating for justice and accountability in the Levant and beyond.

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