Establishing independent Syrian Journalists Union

Reuters, Tuesday 21 Feb 2012

Following the establishment of the Writers Union last month, journalists found an independent union critical of both the Syrian regime and the official journalists union

Nearly a month after the establishment of the independent Syrian Writers Union, over 100 Syrian journalists announced on Monday the founding of the Syrian Journalists Union. The announcement was made outside the offices of official union, accused of siding with the Assad regime that has faced 11 months of protest.

According to Nouri Al-Jarrah, the establishment of the Syrian Journalists Union as a professional and independent union has been undertaken as a response to the revolution of freedom and honour that started last year. He describes it as an act in solidarity with the Syrian people “taking part in the revolution against the oppressive regime.”

Al-Jarrah hopes that the union will become an independent democratic gathering honouring the Syrian revolution for freedom and seeking to establish a democracy of justice and equality for all without discrimination.

The founding statement of the union criticised the existing journalist union, describing it as “a bureaucratic organisation aiming to control the workers in the media field and pushing them under the control and service of the regime… siding with the oppression the regime continues for the peaceful demonstrations.”

The union also writes in its statement its intention to work to develop the media environment, “in cooperation with others in the future Syrian state… to expand the freedoms for the press and the public … stressing the plurality of Syrian society and the importance of broadening the scope of its constituents to express themselves creatively and celebrating their languages, Syrian, Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish, Assyrian among others.”

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