Is North Press Agency falling into the trap of misinformation and fragmentation

The local North Press Agency reviewed one of the materials published by the platform on Tuesday, May 17, under the title, “Did Syrians demonstrate in Afrin to reject the return of Syrian refugees from Turkey?” In which we corrected the misinformation contained in a video recording of one of the demonstrations that took place in the city of Afrin several days ago, and which was exploited by Turkish racists to incite against Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Given that the “Code of Conduct” that we adhere to on the Verify-Sy platform guarantees the right of reply, we republish the agency’s response, which came under the title “Clarification from North Press” on May 18, and we follow it with a comment from the editorial board on the (Verify-In) platform.

Reply as stated:

Yesterday, Tuesday, May 17, the website “Verify” spoke about a report by our agency (North Press) stating that we had published misleading news in reference to a demonstration that took place in the center of the city of Afrin on the fourteenth of this month, whose slogan was “No to settlement, we want to open the fronts.” He claimed It was “confirmed” that the participants in the demonstration “demanded the opening of fighting fronts against the Syrian regime and the liberation of cities and villages occupied by the Russians and Iranians,” without any reference to the first part of the demonstration’s slogan.

In the written material published on the site, Verify-Sy used a photo taken by a North Press correspondent in Afrin, showing a protester holding a sign that read, “No to settlement, yes to liberating villages and Venice.” The time of the sign’s appearance in the video clip published by North Press was from 0.00 to 0.09, but the site did not mention the demonstrators’ rejection of resettlement, and of course the slogan “No to resettlement” that was launched during the demonstration was also broadcast by other platforms, including the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,” in which the demonstrator chanted the phrase “No to resettlement,” and the rest of the demonstrators repeated it.

In this context, North Press had received an invitation to cover the demonstration from its organizers, who said that it would be against the Turkish resettlement project, and accordingly our correspondents covered the event, according to the standards that we work upon, and accordingly we mentioned in our published materials the demonstrators’ rejection of resettlement and their demands to open battle fronts against the government. Syria, we are committed to covering the event in all its aspects.

We appreciate and support the existence of efforts that seek to verify the authenticity of published materials, especially those related to the war in Syria, but if the “Verify” website says that we have distorted news documented in audio and video, this requires the site to reconsider its working mechanism to be sure.

Comment from the editorial board on the (verify) platform:

We regret that North Press has once again fallen into the trap of misinformation and fragmentation in its response attached above, as the agency has fragmented the material that we published in the context of combating inflammatory rhetoric against Syrian refugees in Turkey. In this comment, we are interested in clarifying to the public the following:

1- The Verify-Sy platform did not deny raising slogans rejecting resettlement, and clearly indicated that the demonstration was under the name “No to resettlement, we want to open the fronts.” -Attached is a screenshot of the original article-.

2- The Verify-Sy platform stated in the original article that the demonstrators emphasized their rejection of camps and displacement, demanding the cancellation of the de-escalation agreements signed in Astana and Sochi, and included in the same article several photos and recordings from various sources that support this.

3- North Press did not provide any evidence to support its claim that the demonstration of what it described as “settlers” was “a rejection of the Turkish decision to settle Syrian refugees in northern Syria,” which was exploited by racist Turks to incite against Syrian refugees in Turkey and their claim that “the Syrians are in Syria demonstrated in opposition to the return of Syrian refugees from Turkey.

4- We call on colleagues at North Press to reconsider what they published and not fall into the trap of misinformation and fragmentation, and we urge them to seek accuracy and objectivity and adhere to the standards and principles of journalistic work.

North Press Agency

North Press Agency is a Syrian non-profit news agency established in 2019. North Press agency founded the Monitoring and Documentation Department in late 2022, intending to promote justice and redress for survivors and victims of the
Syrian conflict, emphasizing women and children without taking sides. The Department has a vast database documenting cases of violations against civilians in Syria, which it uses to produce objective reports and case studies to engage with society, human rights organizations, and civil society institutions. Its vision is that justice is a right for everyone.
طلحة عبد الكريم
By : طلحة عبد الكريم
مدير و محرر مدونة الموقع التقني.