Beirut, Lebanon – Syria’s regime and rebels fighting to overthrow it have killed, arbitrarily arrested and tortured scores of journalists over the past two years, rights group Amnesty International said on Friday.
A report entitled “Shooting the Messenger: Journalists targeted by all sides in Syria”, details dozens of cases of journalists and media workers attacked or held since the 2011 uprising began.
The report was issued to coincide with International Press Freedom Day.
“We have once again documented how all sides in this conflict are violating the laws of war, although the scale of abuse by government forces remains much greater,” said Ann Harrison deputy director of Amnesty Middle East and North Africa Programme.
“Deliberate attacks on civilians, including journalists, amount to war crimes for which the perpetrators must be brought to justice.”
The report also details the role of citizen journalists, “many of whom risk their lives to make sure information about what’s going on inside the country is released to the outside world.
“Like their professional colleagues, this group has faced reprisals to prevent them carrying out their work,” Amnesty said.
“We have been calling for over two years for the international community to take meaningful steps to ensure those responsible from all sides are held to account for international crimes and other abuses and for victims to receive reparations, but the Syrian people are still waiting,” Harrison said.
“How much more evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity does the UN Security Council need to see before it refers the situation in Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court?”
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