Unfortunately, the risk associated with unlicensed, independent and clandestine broadcasting in Syria is very present and real. Furthermore, the repressive Assad government is not the only threat.
According to David Kenner at Foreign Policy a reporter working for the citizen journalism organization ANA New Media Association, Rami al Razzouk, was kidnapped by members of the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) during an October raid on ANA’s media office in Raqqah City. ANA says ISIS confiscated radio broadcasting equipment, and also says they believe Razzouk has been “tortured severely and thus transferred to Der al Zor for further interrogation.”
Kenner notes that “the crackdown is just the latest example of the growing tension within the anti-Assad cause between Islamist radicals and more mainstream rebel groups.” ANA’s radio station operated for three months, often criticizing the actions of Islamist radicals, highlighting their harassment of journalists and other activists.
In an official statement, ANA says that other free radio stations “who claim to oppose this kind of oppression continue to avoid collision with these extremist groups by broadcasting revolutionary and islamic content.” The statement continues, “Our revolution was one for freedom and democracy and freedom of expression. Free media is the only way forward for our country, any party that stands to oppose us will not intimidate us or prevent us from making our voices known.”
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