IPI urges Jordan to protect Syrian journalists caught in conflict

Several journalists trapped in southern Syria as government troops advance in

The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, has urged the prime minister of Jordan to allow Syrian journalists trying to leave conflict zones in southern Syria to enter Jordan.

According to information received by IPI, several journalists, camerapersons and other media workers are currently struggling to leave the governorates of Daraa and Quneitra as Syrian government forces and their allies advance towards these areas. The lives of these journalists and media workers are considered to be in extreme danger.

In a letter to the prime minister, Dr. Omar Razzaz, delivered yesterday, IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi requested that these journalists be allowed to enter Jordan.

“The only option these journalists have is to cross over to Jordan and find a safe place to work”, Trionfi wrote. “These journalists are not party to the conflict and have been reporting about the humanitarian situation and the impact of the conflict on the lives of people in these regions. They are performing their duty as journalists. Without their reporting from inside the conflict region, the world would not know of the plight of civilians who are bearing the brunt of the fighting.”

The letter further requested Dr. Razzaz to use his good offices and urge Syria’s prime minister to ensure the journalists’ safety and order Syrian troops to allow their safe passage to Jordan.

Text of the letter sent by IPI

His Excellency Dr. Omar Razzaz Honourable Prime Minister The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Amman 11 July 2018

Re: Safe passage for journalists trapped in Syria

Your Excellency Dr. Razzaz,

I am writing to you on behalf of the International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, to request that your government provide safe passage to Syrian journalists currently caught up in the conflict between Syrian government forces and their allies and rebel groups in Syria’s southern and southwestern provinces.

According to information IPI has received, several journalists, camerapersons and other media workers are currently struggling to leave the conflict zone in Daraa and Quneitra as Syrian government forces and their allies advance towards these areas. The lives of these journalists and media workers are in extreme danger

The only option these journalists have is to cross over to Jordan and find a safe place to work.

These journalists are not party to the conflict and have been reporting about the humanitarian situation and the impact of the conflict on the lives of people in these regions. They are performing their duty as journalists. Without their reporting from inside the conflict region, the world would not know of the plight of civilians who are bearing the brunt of the fighting.

We fear that if these journalists are caught by government troops or move to Damascus, they will not be safe. Falling into the hands of Syrian forces may mean imprisonment, torture and even execution.

Your Excellency, we appeal for your immediate intervention to ensure safe passage for this group of journalists. Jordan has played a key role since the beginning of the conflict in Syria by hosting the largest number of displaced Syrian families. We acknowledge and admire your nation’s commitment to humanitarian principles.

We also request you to use your good offices and speak with the prime minister of Syria to ensure the safety of these journalists and urge him to order his troops to allow their safe passage to Jordan.

Thanking you

Yours sincerely
Barbara Trionfi Executive Director

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