That’s the finding of an Amnesty International investigative report — Shooting the Messenger — which is calling worldwide attention to the cases of journalists attacked or imprisoned by government and opposition forces since the uprising in Syria began.
As part of Syrian government repression of critical voices, award-winning journalist Mazen Darwish and two of his colleagues are currently facing trial on terrorism charges, apparently intended to punish their peaceful, legitimate freedom of expression-related activities.
The Syrian government detained the three men over a year ago and held them incommunicado for several months. In prison, they are reported to have been subjected to torture and other ill treatment.
Deliberate attacks on civilians, including journalists, are violations of the laws of war. Amnesty is pressuring Syrian authorities to drop the charges against Darwish and his colleagues and release immediately and unconditionally anyone held solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
We are also using our on-the-ground intelligence to pressure the Syrian government, the armed opposition groups and the international community to hold accountable those responsible for targeting civilians and otherwise violating the laws of war.
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Advocacy Director, Middle East North Africa
Amnesty International USA