The media department of the Autonomous Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria has issued an official decree suspending the operation of Kurdistan 24 news agency. According to a Kurdish administration spokesman, the company is obliged to close its office and cease its activities in the areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces in the near future.
The Autonomous Authority reinforces its decision by accusing the news agency of destabilising the social situation, inciting violence among citizens and disseminating statements that are at odds with the policies of the SDF.
This is not the first time such situations have occurred. The Kurdish administration has been using its security forces to restrict the work of activists and media workers in areas under its control in northeastern Syria. Since the beginning of the year, more than 20 media activists have been arrested for publishing and commenting on social networks.
The reason for such a radical decision was the active work of Kurdistan 24 to cover the Arab rallies held in Membij in early June. At that time, representatives of Arab tribes organised several spontaneous rallies, demanding that the Kurdish administration stop forced recruitment and improve the social situation in the region.
The situation is indicative in that it demonstrates the heavy censorship of the media by the Autonomous Authority for Northern and Eastern Syria. It is also confirmed by the fact that only affiliated media outlets are operating in the territory under the control of the SDF, forming the information agenda required by the Kurdish administration.