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No to Arbitrary Detention…. Freedom to Mazen Darwish

A petition to release Mazen darwish and his colleagues
No to Arbitrary Detention…. Freedom to Mazen Darwish

Human rights activist, journalist and president of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), Mazen Darwish, was detained on the 16 of February 2012 following a raid of the SCM'S office in Damascus by Air Force Intelligence officers of Syria. All of the staff and visitors of the office were also detained.


During the first nine months following their forced disappearance and detention there was no information released about them. The seven members of the SCM's staff and visitors that were detained eventually stood on trial at the Military Court in Damascus and it was ruled, at that time, that their detention period was sufficient. It is worth noting that the Legislative Decree dated 30 of November allowed the families of the five detainees (Mazen Darwish, Hani Al Zeitani, Hussein Ghareer, Mansour Al Omari and Abdul Rahman Hamada) to see them for the first time after months had past, during which time these detainees were subjected to severe torture in the Air Force Intelligence branches and in a 4th division branch. The five detainees were referred to the special Anti-Terrorism Court which decreed the release of Mansour Al Omari and Abdul Rahman Hamada in February 2013 but continuing their trial.


After about two and a half years Mazen Darwish, Hussein Ghareer and Hani Al Zeitani are still in the Damascus Central Prison on trial at the Anti-Terrorism Court charged under article (8) of the Terrorism Law which was created following their arrest. Syrian authorities continue to ignore the international, humanitarian and human rights appeals launched by dozens of Syrian, Arab and international human rights organizations asking for their release.


During the last two and a half years, the Regime has emptied Syria of peaceful, human rights and civil voices and replaced Syrian society to calls of hatred, violence, militarism and to a destructive war machine. The Syrian authorities continue to ignore all the irrefutable evidence of the fact that Mazen Darwish and his colleagues were detained arbitrarily as this action goes against UN decision No. 67/262 dated 15 of May 2013 under the name "The situation in the Syrian Arab Republic" demanding openly and directly that the Syrian government immediately release Mazen Darwish and his colleagues. It also goes against the decision of the UN experts regarding arbitrary detention in decision No. 43/2013 dated 16 of January 2014 according to which detention of Mazen Darwish and his colleagues were found to be included as an arbitrary detention and it called for the immediate release of them.


In March 2014, 61 International, Arab and Syrian organizations signed a petition demanding the Syrian authorities to immediately release the three detainees according to the UN decision No. 2139 which was adopted on 22 of February 2014 and demands to put an end to arbitrary detentions, torture, kidnapping and forced disappearance immediately and to release all people who are detained arbitrarily.


However, today we find ourselves faced with the indifference of the anti-terrorism court of the Legislative Decree No. (22) issued on 10 June 2014 from the President of the Republic, which grants explicitly a general amnesty for all crimes committed before 9 of June 2014 according to the following:


-(For the entire punishment for the crimes set forth in article [8] of the law No. 19 dated 02-07-2012 if the crime was committed by a Syrian).


Ignoring the explicit text and referring the case to the defense despite these charges being covered by the presidential amnesty, which warns only for the worst, and it is possible that the court will elude the Syrian law and the legislative decree adding false charges to aggravate the situation of the detainees: Mazen Darwish, Hussein Ghareer and Hani Al Zeitani by using flexible legal formulas to weaken the spirit of the nation and the protection of the national security.


During these years many questions have emerged regarding the case against the detainees of SCM (Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression), and at this time the Syrian government is bragging that they are eliminating the situation of the increased numbers of armed men, it also continues to arrest those who stand against all kinds of violence and against the use of weapons?!! At a time in which the government itself is demanding an increase in participation with the internal opposition, it continues to detain the most important peaceful, civil and human rights activists?!! Furthermore, at a time in which it calls to dialogue between Syrians, it continues to detain people with a Free National thought?!!! And, most important, at a time in which the Syrian government confirms the principles of law and justice, it puts on trial a lawyer, a civil and peaceful activist, a human rights activist such as Mazen Darwish to appear in front of an anti-terrorism court?!!!


We the signatories of this statement declare our concern about the destiny, life and safety of these three detainees as prisoners of conscience in Syria, and we call for the Syrian government to observe the practices of the anti-terrorism court in Syria if this government is really trying to work towards a national reconciliation in Syria.


Every person has the right to a fair public trial and is innocent until proven guilty, but if the court system in Syria is turned into a punishment based on personal decisions targeting unarmed civilians on the basis of different political points of view, then this is beyond all norms, laws and legislation.


We call for the Syrian government to immediately release Mazen Darwish and those who are with him without conditions, as well as all the prisoners of conscience in Syria.




Abd Aljalil Al shkafi – artist – Syria.

Abd Alrazak Hiblot – artist – Syria.

Abdel Moneim Abu Idris – journalistic – Sudan

Abdul Rahman Jallowd – a human rights activist / gathering of peace activists around the world – Syria.

Abdullah Abu Seif – Syria.

Abdullah Alasil – cinematic – Syria.

Abdullah Amin Halalk – Writer – Syria.

Abdullah Hassan – a journalist and a photographer – Bahrain.

Abdullah storyteller – photographer – Syria.

10.  Abu Ahmed Hammoud – product – Syria.

11.  Adham Saifuddin – journalistic – Syria.

12.  Ahmad km Almaz – journalistic – Syria.

13.  Ahmed Al qasir – a political activist and journalistic – Syria.

14.  Ahmed Al-Haddad – a journalistic researcher and activist – Bahrain.

15.  Ahmed Bosta – journalistic – Bahrain.

16.  Ahmed Ezzat – a human rights activist – Egypt.

17.  Ahmed Radhi – Journalistic – Bahrain.

18.  Ahmed Sheikh Ahmed Sheikh- Journalistic- Sudan.

19.  Alaa Kwaider / “missing”  network for documentation – Syria.

20.  Aladdin Daho – journalistic – Syria.

21.  Alawiah Mokhtar – journalistic – Sudan.

22.  Ali Diab – Doctor – Syria.

23.  Ali Jawad – Journalistic – Bahrain.

24.  Ali Safar – poet and journalist – Syria.

25.  Amal Habbani – journalistic – Sudan.

26.  Amjad Nasser – a journalist and a poet – Syria.

27.  Ammar Amyen – a political activist – Syria.

28.  Amro Al saraj – Researcher – Syria.

29.  Anwar al-Badr – journalistic – Syria.

30.  Arwad Hindawi – Syria.

31.  Atef Boutros-Attar- a university professor- Germany.

32.  Ayman Al Khalaf- Doctor – Syria.

33.  Ayman Gojal – Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria – Syria.

34.  Badiah Bouhrizi – musical – Tunisia

35.  Baqir Zinedine – journalistic – Bahrain.

36.  Bashar Farhat – a poet – Syria.

37.  Basilah Abu Hamid – Teacher – Syria.

38.  Basma al-Husseini – cultural activist – Egypt.

39.  Bassam Yousef – editor of "We are all Syrians"  newspaper, – Syria.

40.  Bilal Fadl -screenwriter -Egypt.

41.  Dala Rahaby – writer – Syria.

42.  Dara Abdullah – writer – Syria.

43.  Diaa’ddin Dughmosh – journalistic – Syria.

44.  Diana El Jeiroudi – cinematic – Syria.

45.  Diana Moukalled – journalistic – Lebanon.

46.  Dima Wannous – writer – Syria.

47.  Dlshad Othman – Security Technical Information – Syria.

48.  Doha Hassan – journalistic – Syria.

49.  Durra Gambo –  journalist – Sudan.

50.  Esmat al-Moussawi – a journalist – Bahrain.

51.  Eva Zidane – a researcher / Archeology – Syria.

52.  Fadi Jomer – a poet – Syria.

53.  Fadi Zeidan – photojournalist – Syria.

54.  Fadila Chami- civil activist – Syria.

55.  Faisal Hiatt – journalistic – Bahrain.

56.  Faraj Bayrakdar – poet – Syria.

57.  Fardous Albahra- is active in women's issues – Syria.

58.  Fares Alhelw – Actor – Syria.

59.  Farouk Hadji Mustafa – writer and journalist – Syria.

60.  Farouk Mardam bic -publisher and writer – Syria.

61.  Fatima Ghazali – journalist – Sudan.

62.  Fayez Sarah – writer and journalist – Syria.

63.  Feras Dahi- Lawyer – Syria.

64.  Guevara Namer – photographer – Syria.

65.  Habib al-Qurashi – journalistic – Mauritania.

66.  Haitham Hakki – director and producer of television and film – Syria.

67.  Hala Al Abdullah – cinematic – Syria.

68.  Hala Galal – filmmaker – Egypt

69.  Hala Mohammed – poet and documentary filmmaker- Syria.

70.  Hala Omran – Actress – Syria.

71.  Hamoud Al Moosa – journalistic – Syria.

72.  Hanan Kamal – journalist – Egypt.

73.  Hani Ibrahim Shekrallah – a journalist in "Al-Ahram" newspaper – Egypt.

74.  Hani Sayed- a university professor – Syria.

75.  Hassan Abbas – Researcher – Syria.

76.  Hassan Ayo – coach human rights – Syria.

77.  Hassan Kamel – Syrian Center for Journalistic and Freedom of Expression. – Syria.

78.  Hassan Khrmacho – radio presenter – Syria.

79.  Hazem Alazmah – a poet – Syria.

80.  Hazem Dakl – journalistic – Syria.

81.  Hazem El-Amin – journalist and writer – Lebanon.

82.  Hazem Saghieh – journalist and writer – Lebanon.

83.  Hind Mjaly – civil activist – Syria.

84.  Hossam Bahgat. Journalist – Egypt

85.  Hussein Sabbagh – journalistic – Bahrain.

86.  Ibrahim al-Basri – journalistic – Syria.

87.  Ibrahim Gaad Al Karim – journalistic – Sudan.

88.  Imad Alqasem – human rights activist – Syria.

89.  Ismail Abdi – human rights activist – Syria.

90.  Issa Shaker – Filmmaker – Palestine.

91.  Issam Khoury – writer and researcher – Syria.

92.  Jamal bin Omar – journalist and television broadcaster – Mauritania.

93.  Jean Bapier – a journalist.

94.  jibril Diallo – journalistic – Mauritania.

95.  Jomah Akkas – journalistic – Syria.

96.  Karim Al Afnan- journalistic – Syria.

97.  Karima Idrissi – journalistic – Morocco.

98.  Karima Khalil – doctor – Egypt.

99.  Keffah Ali Dib – Painter- Syria.

Kenana Issa – civil activist – Syria.

Khaled Al Motaweeh – university professor – Libya.

Khaled Fahmy – university professor – Egypt

Khaled Mansour – writer – Egypt

Khalid Abd alHameed / Campaign “Freedom for Jad'aan” – Egypt.

Khalil Ham Sorc – artist – Syria.

Laila Al-Safadi – journalistic – Syria.

Lama Hourani- active in women's issues – Palestine.

Lama Iskaf- Engineer – Syrian.

Lama Kannout – a political activist – an advocate for women's human rights – Syria.

Lamia Almoqadam – journalistic – Tunisia.

Lava Selo – journalistic – Syria.

Leila Al-awdat – lawyer – Syria.

Leila Suef – Teacher at the University of Cairo – Egypt.

Lena Al-Wafa'i – Engineer – Syria.

Lina Atallah – journalistic – Egypt.

Lina Tibi – a poet – Syria.

Loay Yassin – Writer – Syria.

Lorenzo Trombetta, a researcher and a journalist – Italy.

Louay Hussein – Writer – Syria.

Louise Abdul Karim – Theater actress – Syria.

Luay Abdul Rahman – journalistic – Sudan.

Maan Abdul Salam / director of "Etana" – Syria.

Maan Hasbani – Artist – Syria.

Mahmoud Mahmoud – a doctor and a political activist – Syria.

Maisa Saleh- active – Syria.

Majed Kurdish – Painter – Syria.

Manal Hamza – a university professor – Egypt.

Mariam Halak- Teacher – Syria.

Marowf Tohmeh – researcher and human rights activist.

Marwan Abu Samra – Researcher – Lebanon.

Massoud Akko – journalistic – Syria.

Michel Hopennek – journalistic – Netherlands.

Miral Biroreda- Kurdish writer – Syria.

Mohammad Jafar Alnoughni – journalistic – Bahrain.

Mohammed Abdelrahman – journalistic – Sudan.

Mohammed Abdullah – journalistic – Syria.

Mohammed Alasbaat – journalistic – Sudan.

Mohammed Amaziane – journalistic – Morocco.

Mohammed Khalil – lawyer / president of the Kurdish Organization for Human Rights in Syria (DAD) – Syria.

Mohammed Omrani – journalistic – Morocco.

Mohiuddin Esau – journalistic – Syria.

Mouna Assaad – a lawyer – Syria.

Munir Sha'rani- artist – Syria.

Mustafa Mohyi – journalistic – Egypt.

Mustafa Yusuf – filmmaker – Egypt.

Nadia Kamel – director – Egypt.

Naira omelet – Egypt.

Najm al Samman – writer and journalist – Syria.

Naomi Omran – opera singer – Syria.

Narven Mullah Mahmood / “missing” network for documentation – Syria.

Nawal Yazigi – active in the defense of women's rights, humanity – Syria.

Nawara Mahfoud – journalist – Syria.

Nawra Younis – journalist – Egypt.

Nazeeha Saeed- a journalist – Bahrain.

Nicolin Van Por – journalist – Netherlands.

Nidal Bitari- Writer – Syria.

Ninar Hasan – civil activist – Syria.

Omar Al-assaad – journalistic – Syria.

Orwa Al-Ahmad – journalistic – Syria.

Orwa Nyrabia- film producer – Syria.

Osama Mohammed – Filmmaker- Syria.

Randa Maddah – Painter- occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Randa Maddah – Painter- Syria.

Randa Shaath – photojournalist – Egypt.

Rasha Omran – a poet – Syria

Rashad Kiwan – Economy – Syria.

Rashid Issa – journalistic – Syria.

Razan Ghazzawi – Blogger – Syria.

Reem Ali – Actress – Syria.

Reem Saad – a university professor – Egypt.

Rim Zaitouneh – human rights activist – Syria.

Rima Fleihan – a political activist – Syria.

Rosa Saleh – active in women's issues – Syria.

Rosa Yassin Hassan – novelist – Syria.

Ruba Mimi – journalistic – Palestine.

Sabah Hallak- active in women's issues – Syria.

Salam Kawakibi – Researcher – Syria.

Salameh Kaileh – writer and journalist – Syrian Palestinians.

Samar Yazbek – novelist – Syria.

Samiah Jaheen – Egypt.

Sarmad Gilani – journalistic – Syria.

Sawsan Zakzak – active in women's issues – Syria.

Sayed Mahmoud / poet and a journalist in "Al-Ahram" newspaper – Egypt.

Shadi Jaber – writer and journalist – Syria.

Shaima Abu goodness – represented by the International Committee to Protect Journalists – Egypt.

Taha Alalawi – journalistic – Bahrain.

Taleb as Ibrahim – journalistic – Syria.

Tamam Henedy – poet and writer – Syria.

Tarek Alghorani– “Tunisia Center” for Freedom of the Press.

Wael Kaddour – Writer – Syria.

Wael Sawah – Writer – Syria.

Walid Haji Abdul Qadir – a writer and political activist – Syria.

Walid Khaled – journalistic – Iraq.

Wasma al-basery – a lawyer – Syria.

Wesam Gelahj – lawyer – Syria.

Yamen Hussein – journalistic – Syria.

Yanni Skhyeer – journalistic – Netherlands.

Yara Bader – journalistic / Syrian Center for Journalistic and Freedom of Expression – Syria.

Yasmin Mari – journalistic – Syria.

Yasser al Zayat – journalistic – Egypt.

Yasser Khanger- a poet – Syria.

Yasser Nasser – theatrical – Bahrain.

Zana Khani – blogger – Syria.

Ziad Homsi – Photographer – Syria.


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