Islamic State imposes restrictions on media workers in Syria


A Syrian media activist who was covering news about battles in Deir ez-Zor, running amid shelling. File photo

ARA News

Tel Abyad, Syria – After al-Qaeda offshoot group of the Islamic State (IS) –previously known as “ISIL”– dominated the city of Deir ez-Zor, east of Syria, IS militants imposed several conditions on activists and journalists in the city during a meeting organized on Thursday.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the IS group identified the working conditions through recognizing the Caliphate State, and pledging allegiance to the group for those activists who wish to continue to work in media field, and the recognition of the term Islamic State as the official name of the group (IS) while terms like “DAASH” or “the State” are totally unacceptable.

“Activists must avoid dealing with the televised media channels and not participating in interviews on those channels, yet they are allowed giving images and breaking news to the news agencies, while reporting videos or written reports must be sent after approved by the Media Office of the IS group,” the Syrian Observatory reported on Friday.

Speaking to ARA News in this regard, Imad Ghalioun, presenter of the program entitled “From the End” in Watan FM Radio, described the current situation of the Syrian revolutionary media outlets as “bitter”.

“Many media activists and journalists sacrificed with their lives for the sake of conveying a true image to the happenings in Syria. Those who reported about the violations of the pro-Assad forces against Syrian civilians were shot down, and now the extremists of the Islamic State are practising the same way against our fellow journalists and media activists,” Ghalioun said.

Ghalioun added that many activists are outside the country, “some of them applied for asylum in some countries, while others joined media bureaus of the Syrian opposition”, pointing out that after many media cadres immigrated, “the Syrian revolutionary media outlets started to suffer shortage of coverage”.

“Unfortunately, most of the media outlets which were established following the outbreak of the revolution cannot convey credible and sufficient information about the developments in Syria. The local news is limited and many happenings remain blacked out,” Ghalioun told ARA News.

According to Ghalioun, after IS group controlled large areas of Syria, such as Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, further difficulties are faced in the media work.

“The Islamic State (IS) group can be classified as a holistic organization that did not allow previously the free media to work within its dominated areas.  Conversely, it has kidnapped many the media activists, executing them brutality just for their activity in media field,” Ghalioum said.

Noteworthy, the Islamic State group (IS) has arrested and killed many media activists in different parts of Syria, as the destiny of many is still unknown since their arrest.


Reporting by: Ridwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

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