On Wednesday 23rd of August 2023 an armed drone of the turkish military targeted a journalist’s vehicle at the junction of the village of Til Şiîr (Tall Sha’ir) on the road 712 between Amude (Amuda) and Qamişlo (Qamishli) in Rojava, Syria.
As a result of the bombing, a media worker named Necmedin Feysel Hec Sinan was killed and a journalist named Delila Egid was injured. She is fighting for her life in the hospital.
Freedom of the press is vital for an informed and democratic society, promoting transparency, accountability, and diverse ideas. Yet, we’re alarmed by increasing journalist attacks by the Turkish military. These actions violate human rights and erode democracy.
Journalists are crucial for revealing truth, exposing corruption, and promoting public discourse. Attacking them undermines the right to information and democracy. We strongly condemn intimidation and violence against journalists by the Turkish military. Their safety and integrity must be protected so they can report without bias. A society that values truth and human rights respects press freedom.
Turkey as a member state of the NATO is attacking and killing civilians nearly every day. Turkish drones operate freely in the airspace above Syria, an area controlled jointly by the United States and Russia. Over the past three years, Turkey has conducted approximately 200 unmanned aerial attacks in the autonomous region of North and East Syria. Almost every location, from Derik to Shehba, has been struck by armed drones. The targets of these attacks have included officials from the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), combat unit members, and civilians, resulting in a death toll of over a hundred individuals. Furthermore, the Turkish military has also targeted Syrian government forces within AANES territory, resulting in the deaths of at least 46 persons.
Furthermore, during the year 2023, six journalists perished across diverse regions within Syria. The imperative of advocating for unrestricted international media liberty remains crucial. We implore for solidarity in countering assaults on journalists perpetrated by the Turkish government, recognizing that an assault on press freedom in one place resonates globally. Our unified communication underscores the principles of democracy, justice and human rights.
In conclusion, to secure the freedom of press all over the world and especially in war zones like in the Middle East we ask you to don’t stay silent. We implore everyone to draw attention to the issues currently unfolding by bringing them to the table for discussion and extending their support. It is essential that we foster open dialogues and offer assistance in addressing these ongoing challenges.
Board of Stichting Vrouwen Onderzoeks- en Communicatiecentrum NEWA