The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression
Who we are
The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) is an independent Syrian civil society organization that works to promote democracy, fundamental rights, and transitional justice in Syria. We strive to reach a Syria that is based on rule of law, rotation of power, freedom of expression and belief, and human rights.
What we do
We believe that the presence of an active civil society and objective, independent and critical media is indispensable for the development of a democratic, civil State in Syria. In 2016 SCM is in a phase of relaunch after a number of years of reduced activities due to circumstances forced upon us. We aim to play a major role in convening Syrian CSOs on the issue of the promotion of peacefulness and reconciliation in Syrian society, and to become the focal point for capacity building and facilitation of Syrian media workers and institutions. Our work is based around six poles of action.
- We mobilise Syrian civil society to engage in the search for a political solution in Syria and to promote of the principles of peacefulness and reconciliation in Syrian society;
- We convey and advocate the Syrian cause in international forums, particularly at the Human Rights Council through SCM’s consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC);
- We work to enhance the safety of journalists in Syria;
- We support and promote the development of free and professional media in Syria by providing capacity building and working with media outlets and workers to improve the content and quality of media;
- We are committed to enhancing the status of diversity and equality in Syrian society, combatting hate discourse, and promoting the decentralization of powers;
- We promote access to information as part of building transparency and accountability in public institutions.
Where we work
We work inside Syria and with Syrians in the neighboring countries and Europe.
- Journalists’ House
- Accountability and transitional justice
- Hate and Violence Speech Observatory
- Enabling Syrian Civil Society Participation in the Peace Process
Since its foundation in 2004, SCM has worked inside Syria to defend persons persecuted for their opinions, promote human rights, and support the development of objective, critical media. The Syrian authorities heavily impeded SCM’s work. In 2012 Syrian Air Force Intelligence detained Mazen Darwish, the founder and president, and 12 other SCM staff members, subjecting them to torture and other ill treatment. The Syrian authorities released the last of the SCM detainees including Mazen Darwish in August 2015.