Mazen Darwish, the head of the Damascus-based Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), and fifteen of his colleagues were arrested by Air Force Intelligence officers during a raid on the centre on 16 February.
According to our sources, he has been badly tortured in detention. We have good reason to think his life is in danger because he suffers from serious ailments and his condition could worsen rapidly if he is not getting the treatment he needs. The Syrian authorities refuse to say where he is being held. He is not being allowed access to his family or lawyers, in complete violation of international law. So far, no charges have been brought against him.
Darwish is in grave danger.The authorities arrested him in order to silence him, because he was telling the outside world about acts of violence by a regime that persists in its deadly folly. A staunch defender of human rights and freedom of expression, Darwish played a key role in providing daily information about the situation in Syria, at a time when almost all foreign journalists are banned from visiting the country.
Without the courage of Syrian journalists and bloggers, no freely reported news and information would be available. You can help to change their destiny. Support our efforts to obtain the release of Darwish and the hundreds of other journalists imprisoned throughout the world. Make a donation!
Thank you for your support,
Reporters Without Borders President
2005 Sakharov Prize - A recognized non-profit organization