The Islamic State militants occupying large areas in Syria and Iraq, have now listed out a core set of 11 commandments that every journalists must obey.
The ISIS insurgents, who beheaded two American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, have reportedly warned local journalists that the 11 commandments issued by the Islamic State were non-negotiable and anyone who disobeyed the rules 'will be held accountable.'
Amer, a journalist told Syria Deeply that the rules were issued in Deir Ezzor, after local journalists held a meeting with the Islamic State militants. "A meeting was held between independent journalists and the ISIS media staff to state how [journalistic] work will be conducted after ISIS gained control of the Deir Ezzor governorate," Amer said.
Disobedience to any of the 11 commandments issued by ISIS means certain death, often by public execution, which includes beheading.
Here are the 11 ISIS diktats:
1. All journalists must swear allegiance to the Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. All correspondents in Iraq and Syria are subjects of the Islamic State and, as subjects, they are obliged to swear loyalty to their Imam.
2. Every news story will be under exclusive supervision of the ISIS media offices. The Islamic State maintains its own media offices in occupied areas in Iraq and Syria, which constantly keep a tab on updates and give out information to the general public.
3. Though journalists can work with international print media houses such as Reuters, AFP and AP, but they are to avoid all international and local satellite TV channels. They are also forbidden from providing any exclusive material, including sound or image to local or international TV channels.
4. ISIS has blacklisted several mediahouses such as Al-Arabiya, Al Jazeera and Orient. Hence all journalists are forbidden from working with them in any way.
5. Journalists can cover local events in the governorate with either written or still images without having to refer back to the ISIS media office. However, all published pieces and photos must carry the journalist's and photographer's names.
6. Journalists are not allowed to publish any reportage print or broadcast without the permission of the ISIS media office first.
7. Journalists may have their own social media accounts and blogs to disseminate news and pictures. However, the ISIS media office must have the addresses and name handles of these accounts and pages.
8. Journalists must abide by the regulations when taking photos within [ISIS 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 [ISIS territory] and in the state media. Any violation of the rules in place will lead to suspension of 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 degree of cooperation between journalists and their commitment to their brothers in the ISIS media offices.
11. All journalists must obtain a license to work from the [ISIS] media office.
While scores of foreign journalists have left the areas held by ISIS, several local and independent journalists still continue to work under such harsh conditions.
The Islamic State militants, earlier in September, had announced that it was going to behead a local Iraqi TV news cameraman, after he refused to work for them.
Similarly, according to a report confirmed by Reporters Without Borders, ISIS has publicly threatened nine journalists in the Mosul and Salahuddin provinces, demanding they cease their work and join Islamic State or face execution.