After beheading two American journalists, ISIS militants have reportedly issued rules to reporters still operating in areas they control forcing them to swear allegiance as “subjects of the Islamic State”.
According to the Independent, anyone violating the guidelines that specify which media outlets can be worked with, demand pre-approval of all stories and the control of personal social media accounts, is threatened with “being held accountable”.
The vast majority of foreign journalists have already fled ISIS-held regions of Syria and Iraq and those remaining are predominantly local reporters attempting to document the ongoing conflict.
The murder of James Foley and Steven Sotloff and continued captivity of British photojournalist John Cantlie, who is used in ISIS propaganda videos, graphically illustrates the danger they are in. In the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, near the Iraq border, the Islamists have reportedly announced draconian rules for reporters.
Amer, a journalist in Deir Ezzor, told the website he took the risk to continue documenting events, feeling someone had to report what was happening to the world.
Many journalists fled when the controls were announced, website Syria Deeply reported, but others chose to stay and obey them. An ISIS press office has been set up to control media, he said, and the following non-negotiable list of conditions was issued at a meeting.