Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called on the United Nations to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety and protection of dozens of journalists who have been exposed to extremely grave danger in South Syria.
In a statement Tuesday, RSF said that because of the particularly “alarming situation of these journalists” trapped in this southwestern part of Syria since the regime retook Daraa, UN and countries that could receive the endangered journalists must take all necessary measures to guarantee their safety and protection.
“Some of these journalists have told RSF they fear being executed or imprisoned as soon as the regime controls the entire province,” added the organization.
It believes that the regime’s persecution of journalists for more than seven years justifies their fears as they risk being subjected to particularly severe reprisals.
RSF stated that many of the journalists covered the uprising since the outset and have helped to document the regime’s human rights violations, and thus are in danger of being identified with the opposition.
RSF revealed that a list of 69 journalists in grave danger in Quneitra and Daraa has been compiled by the journalists themselves. They are journalists working for the Syrian TV channels Orient News, Syria TV, al-Jisr TV and Halab Today TV, as well as employees of the international news agencies Agence-France Presse (AFP) and Reuters, and correspondents of local news networks and organizations, such as Yaqeen, Shahed and Nabaa.
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, RSF chief Christophe Deloire suggested establishing a humanitarian corridor or discreet access to a “territory at peace in one of the adjoining countries.”
In a related development, pro-regime SAMA TV reporter Mustafa Salamah was killed on Monday while covering regime operations against opposition factions in the Quneitra countryside, announced the state-owned SANA news agency.
He was killed by a mortar shell in Tal Mashara in the eastern countryside of Quneitra, said SANA.
According to RSF, Syria was the most dangerous country for journalists in 2017.
Meanwhile, Palestinian photographer Niraz Saied died while in detention, according to his wife who accused the regime of killing him, AFP reported.
Saied, an award-winning photographer, died after nearly three years in regime detention. He was arrested in October 2015.
"There's nothing harder than writing these words, but Niraz doesn't die in silence. They killed my darling, my husband, my Niraz - they killed you, my soul. Niraz died in the Syrian regime's prisons," Lamis al-Khateeb wrote on her Facebook account.
He was believed to be 27 years old.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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