Safety Course for Syrian Journalists


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A course has been set up to educate Syrian journalists, inside and outside of Syria, about occupational safety and information protection. Sponsored by al-Doha centre for the Freedom of Press, the course trains the journalists methods of protecting themselves and their information in the dangerous environment of the Syrian uprising. The course was held in Istanbul over a period of five days and was attended by 31 students. Al-Doha Centre paid for the costs of travelling and accommodation for the journalists who received certificates at the end.

1: Ibrahim al-Idilbi, Syrian media activist from Idlib, Cooperates with al-Jazeera
2: Hashem al-Abdullah, freelance journalist
3: Mour Mrtini, freelance journalist and an independent writer
4: Hadi al-Khateeb, trainer of the information safety course
5: Hassan al-Rashidi, trainer of the occupational safety course

Ibrahim al-idelbi:
“We are a group of activists inside Syria who came to Istanbul, in Turkey, to attend a course sponsored by al-Doha centre for the freedom of press. The course is intended to teach us how to protect our information and ourselves. We really needed a course like this and, as you know, the crisis has escalated in Syria, which is why occupational safety was the main aspect for this course. We also benefited a lot from the information they gave us about protecting the information that we obtain.”

Hashem al-Abdullah:
“We, as activists in Syria, started reporting events from Syria, but we lacked the simplest knowledge about protection of ourselves and our devices, that we used to transfer information. Through this course we were introduced to many methods for protecting information and for occupational safety that we did not know before.”

Nour Martini:
“It was announced that al-Doha centre set up a course to teach journalists about occupational and information safety, so I applied for this course. Since I am in constant contact with activists and journalists inside Syria, and since I am a woman spending time near the conflict areas in Syria, I need the training which al-Doha Centre is providing. We need to know these methods, not only for our own safety, but also for the safety of the network of journalists and news agencies that we deal with. The trainers were professionals, not only in terms of being news reporters, but also in digital security.”

Hadi al-Khateeb:
“I am an information safety and digital security trainer and I work with al-Doha Center. We have been training activists and journalists for two days about the issues of information safety and digital security. The training concentrated on the dangers journalists might face, concerning the data they have and the sources they work with. We also worked on the issue of protecting smartphones that are used by the journalists to write reports and to take photos. So we concentrated on the usage of these devices and the different strategies.” Hassan al-Rashidi:
“This course as you can see was set up for the sake of protecting Syrian journalists who work in areas of conflict. We taught them about security precautions that should be applied while on the ground and first aid techniques in case of injury. We also introduced them to the types of mines that are found in some areas and the actions a professional journalist should take if they find themselves in danger or stopped at a checkpoint. The way that a journalist should dress, for their own safety, so they do not look similar to government forces or any other armed group. We also talked about the ethics of the profession and ways in which a journalist should never behave, such as carrying a weapon or becoming a spy. We also taught them how to deliver this information to their colleagues who were not able to attend the course.”