Press Briefing by Syrian Mission. Speakers: Sara flounders, Activist, Donna Nassor, lawyer and human rights and peace activist, Dr. Bahman Azad, Member of the Coordinating Committee for the Hands Off Syria and Organization Secretary of US Peace Council, and Eva Bartlett, Independent Canadian Journalist.
Freelance journalist Eva Bartlett is no stranger to the Syrian conflict, having visited the country repeatedly since the conflict began to get a sense of the realities on the ground. This week, confronted by a mainstream journalist regarding the lies presented in media coverage of Syria, Bartlett succinctly laid out exactly what the problem was.
If you want to know what’s really happening in Syria listen to this heroic and genuine journalist Eva Bartlett. If you don’t just keep watching the propaganda being spewed out by the now defunct BBC and CNN.
Eva Bartlett is a freelance journalist who has written extensively about Syria from first-hand accounts in more than three trips to the country since 2012.
A Canadian freelance journalist and rights activist recently criticized her mainstream media colleagues for misleading people about the reality in Syria by contributing to the demonizing of its government and skewing the truth about Russia’s involvement.
During a press conference organized last week by the Syria Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Eva Bartlett slammed western media for their blatant bias when reporting on the conflict, which has been ongoing since 2011. Among other things, she criticized news agencies that relied on secondhand reports from international organizations which she said are simply “not credible” and, in the case of eastern Aleppo, not even there.
“These organizations are relying on the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [SOHR], based in Coventry, U.K., which is one man. They’re relying on compromised groups like the White Helmets,” she said, explaining that the organization receives its funding from western states with their own interests in Syria such as the U.S. and the U.K.
They “purport to be rescuing civilians in eastern Aleppo and Idlib…(Yet) no one in eastern Aleppo has heard of them..So your sources on the ground – you don’t have them.”
Bartlett has visited Syria at least three times since April 2014, producing several articles, interviews and multimedia pieces challenging the common war-torn-country narrative pushed by mainstream media.
“Unless one is actively-seeking information on positive aspects of life in the Syrian Arab Republic—which, perhaps to the surprise, many do abound—it is images of war which overwhelm,” she wrote in July of this year, adding that volunteerism was one of the “many positive aspects that prevails…throughout the country.”
“Many associations quietly work year-round to help in whatever capacity they can, giving food, clothing, hygiene and financial aid, as well as educational, housing, and medical services, among others.”
During the Dec. 10 press conference, Bartlett was challenged by a Norwegian journalist demanding to know what she thought was the “agenda” of western media.“How can you justify calling all of us liars?” he asked.
Barlett responded that while there “certainly are honest journalists among the very compromised establishment,” the agenda had always been one of “regime change.”
“How can the New York Times…or Democracy Now…maintain until this day that this is a civil war in Syria? How can they maintain…that the protests were unarmed and nonviolent until, say, 2012? That’s absolutely not true. How can they maintain that the Syrian government is attacking civilians in Aleppo when every person that’s coming out of these areas is saying the opposite?”
Of Russia’s coverage of the conflict, she said they were showing “exactly what the Syrian media is saying, and it shows what independent people in Syria are saying.”
Bartlett’s comments came as the city of Aleppo was being retaken by the Syrian Army, along with Russia’s help, from anti-government forces. A ceasefire was agreed upon on Tuesday as the last remaining opposition forces retreated from their last major urban stronghold.
While Syrians have celebrated this victory, they have criticized the UN’s silence since the Islamic State group has taken over the millennial city of Palmyra, echoing Bartlett’s criticisms of information manipulation.
“What happened in Palmyra really hurt us,” a Syrian woman told teleSUR. “It’s sad that this historic site fall in the hands of terrorists, and we condemn the West’s attempts to ruin the reputation of our national military. But just as we took Aleppo back, we will recover Palmyra and all Syrian territory.”