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Today is World Press Freedom Day, and the situation for journalists in Syria is devestating.
According to Reporters Without Borders, 19 journalists have been killed in 2013, while 174 are in prison. Fifty eight netizens and citizen journalists have been killed since the revolution began in March 2011. Additionally, Syria is one of the worst countries in the world for press freedom and it ranks among the top enemies of the Internet.
SETF is encouraging individuals to write to their editors of local and national newspapers to engage Americans across the country to inform them of recent Syria legislation and the democratic aspirations of the Syrian opposition. The Coalition For A Democratic Syria would like writers to focus on one of the following topics: US National Security, Refugees, Chemical Weapons, Intervention, Humanitarian Corridor, and International Community.For more resources on how write these letters, read our document on writing letters to the editor below.
This week the Syrian Emergency Task Force delivered food baskets through civil administrative councils to Aleppo city, Qnyah, Yaqoubiyah, and Darkoush. Each basket sustains a family for one month and includes oil, rice, spaghetti, flour, sugar, and milk. We’re excited to announce that we’ve opened three new offices in Khirbet al-Joz, Qnnieh, and Stareb. These offices in Syria serve Lattakia, Idlib, and Aleppo provinces. With these new offices our food aid is reaching more people than ever!
Join our mission to deliver 500 food baskets this summer!
On 15 April 2013 the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) and Omnia Strategy LLP jointly hosted a conference of independent Syrian judges, lawyers and prosecutors on international humanitarian law and human rights in Antakya, Turkey. The conference hosted by the Director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force's Turkey office, Razan Shalab Al-Sham and Mr. Toby Cadman, Partner at Omnia Strategy LLP in the United Kingdom, brought together representatives from a number of associations of Free Syrian Judges, Free Syrian Lawyers, Civilian Police Chiefs and Civil Society activists. The discussions focused on long term transitional justice planning and documenting crimes committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since the uprising in March 2011.
Yesterday Democrats and Republicans expressed their concern for the Syrian Crisis and the need for more military assistance to the Opposition. Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Senator Menedez (NJ) presided over the hearing and stated that the purpose was to explore more options for US action in Syria. The panel included Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, and Acting Assisting Secretary for the State Department's Near Eastern Affairs Bureau, Elizabeth Jones. The full video of the hearing can be found here.