Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Conflict in Syria was born in the media

Prensa Latina

The war that today shakes Syria started in the media, long before economic sanctions and mercenary gangs were financed to overthrow the government, said Elias Murad, president of the Union of Journalists of Syria.

Many reporters entered the country before the crisis, filming as tourists, violating the ethical code, and then made their reports distorting the facts, as provided by public servants explained Prensa Latina.

The peaceful demonstrations that took place in the current conflict were presented as frank opposition to the government and demands for its resignation, when participants only asked for economic reforms, he said.

Even massive marches in support of authorities were presented to the world as opposing the givernment by mainstream media, or they were not given coverage and greater relevance was bestowed to protests with less than a hundred people, he argued.

Murad reported that a considerable part of the international media, and satellite channels such as Al Jazeera (Qatar) and Al-Arabiya (Saudi Arabia) maintain an open hostility to Damascus, and became spokesmen of the armed opposition groups and even the terrorist organization Al Qaeda.

He also said media and others-called for insurrection, encouraging  destruction in our country as a "revolution" and they gave support to terrorists who commit sabotage and put car bombs in areas of high concentration of civilians referring to them as "rebels" and "freedom fighters" he denounced.

The director explained that the Syrian media industry was one of many affected by terrorism, with 40 journalists killed, wounded or kidnapped by irregular and terrorists, something that the organization Reporters Without Borders refrains from denouncing, while accusing the government of undermining freedom of the press, something they criticized with uncertainty.

Similarly, almost all the media of the country have some kind of attack on them, they were looted or received threats of sabotage against their facilities, he continued.

This is Exemplified by the terrorist attack in mid-2012 against the Syrian news channel, which  almost completely destroyed.

He affirmed that around 500 reporters entered the country without authorization in the last two years, something that is not allowed anywhere in the world or in the United States or Europe, but when it comes to Syria it is made to appear as something normal or is kept quiet.

About the organization that directs these questionable indivudals, he pointed out that some 2,500 members, including those working as independents, have a system of insurance discounts by choosing different services and free medical care for retirees.

Our journalists overwhelmingly support the government and the implementation of the Policy Programme, a document that advocates ending the conflict through peaceful negotiations between the authorities and the political parties and civil society organizations.

He highlighted the existence of a media law that favors the existence of private media, which are attended and supervised by a Supreme Council of Media, which guarantees their free and responsible exercise.

Murad stressed information on the actions of President Bashar Al-Assad to extending and democratizing access to the Internet and social networks in Syrian society.

The trustee argued from the outset that by ensuring mass access to the networks, especially to young people, that they are the best voice and defense of the country abroad, he expressed.

Advocates reach agreements regarding journalistic collaboration and information exchange with Cuba and other Latin American countries, which have not yet materialized, hr lamented.

Translated from the Portuguese version by:

Lisa Karpova