On Thursday, the news website Syria Deeply published a media guide that the Islamic State terrorist group, also known ISIS, issued to all journalists in the Deir Ezzor province under militant control.
A local journalist named Amer told Syria Deeply that “a meeting was held between independent journalists and the ISIS media staff to state how [journalistic] work will be conducted after ISIS gained control of the Deir Ezzor governorate.”
The ones who decided to stay were required to sign the following set of rules. Reporters that did not agree fled to other zones of the country or abroad.
1. Correspondents must swear allegiance to the Caliph [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi … they are subjects of the Islamic State and, as subjects, they are obliged to swear loyalty to their imam.
2. Their work will be under the exclusive supervision of the [ISIS] media offices.
3. Journalists can work directly with international news agencies (such as Reuters, AFP and AP), but they are to avoid all international and local satellite TV channels. They are forbidden to provide any exclusive material or have any contact (sound or image) with them in any capacity.
4. Journalists are forbidden to work in any way with the TV channels placed on the blacklist of channels that fight against Islamic countries (such as Al-Arabiya, Al Jazeera and Orient). Violators will be held accountable.
5. Journalists are allowed to cover events in the governorate with either written or still images without having to refer back to the [ISIS] media office. All published pieces and photos must carry the journalist’s and photographer’s names.
6. Journalists are not allowed to publish any reportage (print or broadcast) without referring to the [ISIS] media office first.
7. Journalists may have their own social media accounts and blogs to disseminate news and pictures. However, the ISIS media office must have the addresses and name handles of these accounts and pages.
8. Journalists must abide by the regulations when taking photos within [ISIS territory] and avoid filming locations or security events where taking pictures is prohibited.
9. ISIS media offices will follow up on the work of local journalists within [ISIS territory] and in the state media. Any violation of the rules in place will lead to suspending the journalist from his work, and he will be held accountable.
10. The rules are not final and are subject to change at any time depending on the circumstances and the degree of cooperation between journalists and their commitment to their brothers in the ISIS media offices.
11. Journalists are given a licence to practice their work after submitting a licence request at the [ISIS] media office.
Journalists that report on the new rules are “considered infidels and are sentenced to death,” a media activist told Syria Deeply.
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