Unbearable environment

The risk of arrest, abduction or death make journalism extremely dangerous and difficult in Syria. At least 10 journalists were killed in 2018, of whom three were the victims of murders in unclear circumstances that were never solved. The updating of civil registers have confirmed that five journalists also died in recent years while held in Bashar al-Assad’s jails. Since the start of 2018, dozens of journalists have had to flee the advance of government troops, especially into the southwestern Ghouta and Deraa regions, because they feared arrest. Journalists are the targets of intimidation by all parties to the conflict – by the Syrian military and its allies as well as the various armed opposition groups including Turkish-backed forces, Kurdish forces and radical Islamist groups such as Islamic State and Hayat Tahrir al Sham. Of the new Syrian media created by citizen-journalists shortly after the start of the uprising in 2011, few have survived. The Syrian government gave itself a new tool for cracking down on the Internet in March 2018 by creating special cyber-crime courts.

in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index



174 in 2020

Global score


72.57 in 2020


  • 1
    journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2021
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