More than 700 citizen journalists have been killed in attacks in Syria since the beginning of the civil war in 2011, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said Sunday.
In a report on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2020, the rights group said as many as "707 citizen journalists have been killed since March 2011 to date, 78% of them by Syrian regime forces."
According to the report, there have been at least 1,169 arrests and kidnappings of citizen journalists in Syria between March 2011 and May 2020.
“The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) demands the release of 422 citizen journalists in Syria, most of whom are detained by the Syrian regime, and are now threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the SNHR said.
The report emphasized that the Syrian regime bears the greatest responsibility for Syria’s horrendous status globally concerning press freedom and media work.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity, which later developed into bloody clashes and interventions from external forces.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN figures.
*Writing by Handan Kazanci