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Homeland Security

Islamic State Said to Issue Rules for Reporters

by VOA News October 07, 2014

Islamic State militants are said to have issued a detailed list of requirements for journalists in Deir al-Zour, Syria. The media group Syria Deeply quotes a reporter identified as 'Amer' as having attended a meeting between Islamic State media staff and the few local journalists who stayed after the IS advance into Deir al-Zour. The list could not be independently confirmed.

Islamic State militants executed two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, after a U.S.-led coalition began airstrikes on IS targets.

According to the list below, certain international reporters, including those from Reuters, AFP and AP, can continue their work. Conditions, in keeping with the group's extremism, are strict, including an oath of allegiance to the leader of Islamic State, and a warning that the rules can change at any time.

'Amer' told Syria Deeply he understands the risk, but thought 'someone had to stay behind to report from within, to share the news with the world.'

1. Correspondents must swear allegiance to the Caliph [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi ... they are subjects of the Islamic State and, as subjects, they are obliged to swear loyalty to their imam.

2. Their work will be under the exclusive supervision of the [ISIS] media offices.

3. Journalists can work directly with international news agencies (such as Reuters, AFP and AP), but they are to avoid all international and local satellite TV channels. They are forbidden from providing any exclusive material or have any contact (sound or image) with them in any capacity.

4. Journalists are forbidden from working in any way with the TV channels placed on the blacklist of channels that fight against Islamic countries (such as Al-Arabiya, Al Jazeera and Orient). Violators will be held accountable.

5. Journalists are allowed to cover events in the governorate with either written or still images without having to refer back to the [ISIS] media office. All published pieces and photos must carry the journalists' and photographers' names.

6. Journalists are not allowed to publish any reportage (print or broadcast) without referring to the [IS] media office first.

7. Journalists may have their own social media accounts and blogs to disseminate news and pictures. The ISIS media office, however, must have the addresses and name handles of these accounts and pages.

8. Journalists must abide by the regulations when taking photos within [IS territory] and avoid filming locations or security events where taking pictures is prohibited.

9. ISIS media offices will follow up on the work of local journalists within [IS territory] and in the state media. Any violation of the rules in place will lead to suspending the journalist from his work, and he will be held accountable.

10. The rules are not final and are subject to change at any time, depending on the circumstances and the degree of cooperation between journalists and their commitment to their brothers in the ISIS media offices.

11. Journalists are given a license to practice their work after submitting a license request at the [IS] media office.

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