Exposing Syrian Atrocities to the World

 

Written by Rami Jarah, Activists News Association

In early 2011, tens of thousands of Syrian citizens took to the streets in a joint call demanding freedom and democracy. The Syrian government retaliated brutally with its security apparatus indiscriminately opening fire at large crowds. Protesters were shot dead in the streets, others were arrested and in many cases subject to severe torture. The government’s actions sparked an uprising across the country where demonstrations in one spot alone have reached as many as half a million protesters.

The international media has been banned from entering Syria in an attempt by the government to prevent the world from seeing the atrocities committed against civilians. Media in Syria is state-controlled and conveys to the public that terrorists are behind the uprising and that this is a foreign plot to destabilize the country.

This is where citizen journalists come in. Thousands of activists across the country have taken up spontaneous journalism by filming and reporting what they see around them.

Rami Jarah

 

The Activists News Association (ANA) is an organization formed to support those citizen journalists. Its makeshift office in the Cairo consists of a number of activists coordinating with over 350 citizen journalists across Syria. ANA works on providing activists with the equipment and services they need in order to continue and improve the process of evidencing and publicizing the ongoing events.

For example, in Baba Amr, an area of Homs in Syria that recently went under siege by regime forces, thousands of soldiers in tanks were deployed to surround the area, and all communications were taken out in addition to electricity and water as regime forces then shelled residential homes, killing hundreds. Local activists choose to risk their lives by documenting these crimes and conveying to the world exactly what is happening.

ANA is currently undergoing a number of tasks, one of which is establishing a radio station that will be broadcasted online on the official website which is now under construction and will then expand by shifting to terrestrial radio across Syria to hopefully become the only non-state-controlled media establishment in the country.

The most important resource for citizen journalists is equipment — cameras, satellite phones, modems, etc. These ensure that journalists are still able to report, even when their area has been taking offline by the government, which was the case in Baba Amr. ANA now publishes in 4 languages — English, Spanish, Arabic and Italian — and will soon expand to Russian, German, French and Persian.

We are an independent organization that will not stand for any political affiliation, as this would affect our neutralism and honesty. We have not and will not accept funding from any political groups.

Follow Rami on twitter @AlexanderPageSY

 

Related Stories:

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UN Humanitarian Chief Visits Baba Amr: What Happened to Its Residents?

 

Top photo from #SyriaMarch15 via Facebook

13 comments

KS Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

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John Duqesa
Past Member 6 years ago

Daniel C.

I think you are confused. The Syrian government IS legitimate. It is endorsed by universal suffrage in Syria itself (look up Syria in the CIA Factbook) and recognised internationally. That a government defends itself from armed rebels in any way it can does not delegitimise it - is the government of the USI somehow delegitimised because of massacres (Waco, Ohio and the rest)? Indeed, the Syrian government has not committed massacres. As for journalists, the government of peace loving Syria is simply doing what the government of the Zionist Entity has done during war or civil disturbance and made areas off limits to journalists for their own protection. Furthermore, some governments, again such as that of the Entity, censor reports prior to allowing them abroad. Syria has not done this. Finally, there are journalists in Syria. I have seen reports from them - and some are extremely tendentious.

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daniel casey
daniel casey6 years ago

@ John D;

If Al-Assad's government is so legitimate, they why would they ban foreign media from entering the country? If they are doing nothing wrong, why hide it? Why would they shell entire districts of towns indiscriminately, knowing that civillians are still occupying residential buildings?

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Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton6 years ago

Noted.Thanks for posting.

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Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton6 years ago

Noted. Thanks for posting.

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Silja Salonen
silja s6 years ago

and world continues to talk
just that talk

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Christine C.
Chandra C6 years ago

And the Syrian government is still in power.......

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John Duqesa
Past Member 6 years ago

"The most important resource for citizen journalists is equipment — cameras, satellite phones, modems, etc. These ensure that journalists are still able to report, even when their area has been taking offline by the government, which was the case in Baba Amr. ANA now publishes in 4 languages — English, Spanish, Arabic and Italian — and will soon expand to Russian, German, French and Persian.

Right, so it is, all of that is important.

"We are an independent organization that will not stand for any political affiliation, as this would affect our neutralism and honesty. We have not and will not accept funding from any political groups."

So let's be told where the funding for all these lovely things is coming from.

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Anna M.
Anna M6 years ago

Why isn't the UN do anything about this endless massacre?? What are they waiting for, the whole populations to be wiped out????














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John Duqesa
Past Member 6 years ago

Let's see how independant thay are when they start reporting the regular millions-strong demonstrations FOR al-Assad and his legitimate government.

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