PYD publishes draft for media law

PKK’s Syrian affiliate PYD publishes draft media law to enable control of print, digital, audio and audiovisual media in Jazira Canton of northern Syria

Photo by: Shutterstock
Photo by: Shutterstock

PYD militants in northern Syria on March 19, 2013

Updated Jan 27, 2016

The legislative council of the so-called interim administration in Jazira Canton in northern Syria, appointed by the PKK’s Syrian affiliate PYD, published a draft media law on December 21, 2015 which would enable extensive control of print, digital, audio and audio-visual media in the canton, local media said.

A media council was established in an attempt to obtain a far-reaching authority. The council could not only call journalists for a conversation at any time, but also could make journalists reveal their sources if asked.

Under the media law, if journalists reveal false reports, the council can sentence the author a heavy fine, ban employment and can indefinitely freeze the medium in which the report is published or fixed.

No independent court is involved in the matter.

Furthermore, the media law foresees that all media; including, social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter pages must be registered with the media council.

Turkey considers PYD to be the Syrian extension of the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey as well as the US and European Union and sees any PYD-controlled region by its border as a national threat, deliberating that PYD is trying to create a “de facto state” in northern Syria on the pretext of fighting DAESH.

Since PKK's takeover of the northern Syrian territories, PYD and its subgroup KSM forces have committed major human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, enforced displacement, arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances, along with other violations against women, children and media personnel.

The KSM was established in January 2014 by the YPG which is the armed wing of the PYD.

TRTWorld and agencies