Joint Call: Secure Safe Passage for All Media Workers Wishing to Leave Aleppo

Joint Call: Secure Safe Passage for All Media Workers Wishing to Leave Aleppo

December 13, 2016

13 December 2016 - As the Syrian and Russian government forces are taking over territories within the city of Aleppo, International Media Support (IMS), the Global Forum for Media Development and 18 other international media assistance NGOs and press freedom organisations call on all parties of the conflict to ensure that steps are taken to safeguard the lives of media workers living and working in Aleppo and those media workers choosing to leave the city.

Throughout the conflict, Syria's media workers and other news providers have directly and deliberately been targeted by multiple parties in the conflict. Despite the risks, those media workers chose to stay reporting directly from the streets of the besieged city and informing the outside world of atrocities committed by all sides.

The undersigned organisations therefore call on all parties to ensure the safe passage of media workers and show respect for the work and the physical integrity of media personnel, who are ensuring that the outside world and citizens within Syria are being kept informed of developments and can make informed decisions on the basis of this.

The United Nations have reported that civilians in Aleppo have gone missing as they have tried to seek safety by crossing territories held by opposing sides. For this reason, the undersigned organisations reminds all parties to the conflict that media workers and other news providers are to be protected alongside civilians as stated in the Geneva Convention.

Names and identities of Aleppo's media workers are known to international media assistance and press freedom organisations and any harm to their personal safety will be considered a breach of international conventions put in place to ensure the safety of journalists and must be independently investigated.

- Jesper Højberg, Director of International Media Support
- Ayman Mhanna, Executive Director of Global Forum for Media Development
- Owais Aslam Ali, Chairman of Pakistan Press Foundation
- Joyce Barnathan, President of International Center for Journalism
- Petra Berner, Head Strategy and Consulting Service, Deutsche Welle
- Jeanne Bourgault, President and CEO, Internews
- Steve Buckley, Managing Director of Community Media Solutions
- Tina Carr, Executive Director of Rory Peck Trust
- Etienne Fiatte, Managing Director of CFI
- Armand Hurault, Executive Director, Association de Soutien aux Médias Libres
- Gisèle Khoury, President of Samir Kassir Foundation - SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom
- Kateryna Myasnikova, Executive Director, Independent Association of Broadcasters
- Remzi Lani, Executive Director of Albanian Media Institute
- Tihomir Loza, Executive Director of the South East European Network for Profession­alization of Media
- Lucie Morillon, Programme Director of Reporters Without Borders
- Cyprien Ndikumana, Executive Director of Institut Panos Grands Lacs
- Courtney Radsch, Advocacy Director for the Committee to Protect Journalists
- Mousa Rimawi, Executive Director of MADA
- Johan Romare, Director, Fojo Media Institute
- Leon Willems, Director of Free Press Unlimited