Deir ez-Zor Under Fire

21 April 2015

Civil activists in the city of Deir ez-Zor, who have been fighting tooth and nail to end the marginalization of their hometown's struggle, launch the Deir ez-Zor Under Fire initiative to document the situation in Deir ez-Zor amid the humanitarian crisis.

The campaign monitors and documents violations and crimes against civilians in the area. It relies on a network of correspondents inside and outside Syria, in addition to "people who report news and provide photos from inside the city, but prefer not to join the campaign for security reasons," explains one of the campaign's operators to SyriaUntold.

The campaign's activists use pseudonyms to protect themselves from ISIS, which seized control over Deir ez-Zor in July 2014. The radical militia had launched a military crackdown on civil work in the city, shutting down relief organizations and persecuting activists, which has helped reinforce the media blackout already imposed on Deir ez-Zor.

A carton from Deir ez-Zor.
A carton from Deir ez-Zor.

Despite their security precautions, the campaign's operators is receiving threats from the terrorist group known for its explicit hostility for civil activities, especially those related to journalism, humanitarian aid and education.

"Total anonymity is the only way to protect our lives," activists articulate, "Especially with the lack of financial support, which means the lack of equipment, supplies and means of data encryption.”

Under mounting security and financial pressures, the campaign has succeeded at drawing attention to the suffering of the people in Deir ez-Zor, which manifested itself in numerous solidarity sit-ins and banners from various places, including Turkey, Germany and Bahrain.


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad