PARIS, April 27 (KUNA) -- Press freedom organisation Reporters Without
Borders (RWB) on Friday heavily criticized the Syrian regime for its treatment
of the press and for its arrest and harassment of journalists.
"We call for the immediate release of all the professional journalists,
citizen journalists and bloggers jailed by the regime," Reporters Without
Borders said in a statement here.
"The Syrian authorities have undertaken to carry out Kofi Annan's peace
plan, which envisages the release of all prisoners of conscience. It is high
time the authorities kept their promises," the statement added.
The press freedom body remarked that United Nations observers are meeting
"considerable difficulty" in carrying out their mission in Syria and it drew
attention to "the Assad regime's many violations of freedom of information,
which include jailing those who have the courage to inform us about the
situation in Syria."
RWB particularly noted the case of Yara Michel Shammas, a 21-year-old
arrested March seventh in a raid that included detention of eleven other
Shammas faces a death penalty under Syrian law after fresh charges were
brought in this case after almost two months of detention.
"Reporters Without Borders continues to be very concerned about Ali Mahmud
Othman, a Homs-based citizen journalist and resistance figure, who was
detained in Aleppo on March 28th," the statement remarked, claiming Othman is
now being held by the intelligence services in Damascus and is being subjected
to "appalling forms of torture."
RWB also raised the cases of numerous other journalists and activists for
human rights, who are being held by the intelligence services.
It also published a list of the many others missing and feared either dead or
detained in secret in Syria. (end)
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