Statement from Kurdistan 24 Company for Media and Research Ltd.
For the past few years, Kurdistan 24 Company for Media and Research Ltd. has worked tirelessly in the Western Kurdistan (Northern Syria) region after it received its official license from the local administration to work there. Kurdistan 24 has produced work based on journalistic ethics and professionalism and will continue to do so.
During those years in the region, our team of journalists and staff had, on numerous occasions, put their lives in danger to cover the conflicts and the dire situation in the area, and became a reliable source for international media and agencies. Unfortunately, in the last month or so, and based on decisions from some officials in the local administration of Western Kurdistan (Northern Syria), the network has been banned from working in the region. The officials have also seized and suspended our working license in the Syrian Kurdistan region.
Despite this unilateral decision, we have spoken and met with local administration officials and tried to restart our work; however, most of our efforts have been fruitless.
Based on the recent events and actions, we at Kurdistan 24 Company for Media and Research Ltd. would like to inform all the freedom-loving people around the world that we cannot wait and stay silent, and we have reached the unfortunate decision to close our Syrian Kurdistan (Northern Syria) bureau and will be forced to use other news sources to get the latest information on the region, which regrettably is not the way we want to work.
Banning our journalists from working in the region does not only violate the freedom of speech and democratic norms, it is also a dangerous sign for the new local administration regarding its upholding of democratic principles and individual rights, as well as transparency within its leadership, in which the local northern Syrian administration has faced criticism for internally as well as internationally in the past. The media ban will become another stain on its leadership.
In the last few years, our reporters notably covered the Afrin invasion as well as the liberation operations in Manbij, Raqqa, and Deir al-Zor. Their sacrifices and coverage is proof of our provisional and balanced, as well as impartial and unbiased, work. In those operations, our cameras and crew were among the only source of news for the entire world. Furthermore, tour correspondents’ questions and inquiries during international summits and conferences is more proof Kurdistan 24 has never been against the interests of the people of Syrian Kurdistan or its cause. In fact, Kurdistan 24 has worked in the interests of the people and tried to present them with the best possible quality of journalism.
Additionally, during US State Department press conferences or European leaders’ press briefings, the questions our correspondents choose to ask regarding the situation in Syrian Kurdistan is always supportive of its cause.
In the future, our work in the region will be the same as before – based on professionalism and journalistic ethics – and we will cover the events without bias and impartially. The coverage of the problems of ordinary people will be at the forefront of our work.
Even though the decision to prevent us from working is a political one, we will continue to be closer to our viewers and audiences and cover the events in the region in the best possible way, and make every attempt to become the voice of the people of Rojava on the world stage.
Finally, in the near future, we will try to set up different communication channels from the region to receive the latest news from the ground, so the people can stay updated on different levels and keep watching our network to hear their news and developments in their region.
Kurdistan 24 Company for Media and Research Ltd.
Sept. 2, 2019
A copy to:
Kurdistan Journalist Syndicate
Syrian- Kurdistan Journalist Syndicate
International Federation of Journalists
Reporters Without Borders
United States Department of State
United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
German Federal Foreign Office
European Union Foreign Affairs Council
Freedom House Organization