Press freedom deteriorates in Syria

As the conflict between the government and the rebel forces escalates in Syria, press freedom has rapidly deteriorated, making it one of the worst periods for journalism in the country. A report on Friday by records the killing of French journalist Yves Debay on that day, providing a list of 17 other reporters, including the famed Marie Colvin, who have been killed in the past 22 months of strife. Independent observers, however, blame both the government and the rebel forces for the assault on media workers.

While some have been arguing for Western intervention in the conflict, others have alleged that Islamist extremist groups among the ‘rebels’ that have received support can possibly push the country and the region into greater instability.

A panel discussion held in SOAS, London on Thursday, accused the pro-Western Turkish government of supporting Al-Qaeda oriented armed groups into Northern Syria, considered by the Kurds as Western Kurdistan.

Both the rebels and the Syrian government at the moment stand accused of assaults on media personnel not toeing their line.

The Press Freedom Index for 2011/2012 published by Reporters without Borders ranked Syria at 176.

The ‘post-war’ Sri Lanka was ranked at 163, one slot above Somalia.

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