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Information Ministry Puts Pressure on Publications

The Syrian information ministry exerts pressure on newspapers and magazines by regularly preventing the distribution of some of their issues into the market, said a June 17 article in the pro-government website all4Syria.

The website asserted that it has become systematic practice for officials to stop temporarily the circulation of any publication that contains articles they disapprove of.

In the last two weeks alone, authorities barred from the market issues of four publications, Shabablek magazine, Syria Today, the Stock Markets newspaper and Al-Akhbar daily, the website reported.

The ministry has also threatened local publications that they could lose their licences or have their facilities closed if they discuss these punitive measures in the media, the website said. The publications have told their journalists to comply, the website added.

The Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression said that during the last year, the information ministry has blocked the distribution of several issues of local economic, social and political magazines and newspapers.