The Terrorism Court in Damascus has postponed the hearing of Mazen Darwish and the detainees of Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression – namely blogger Hussein Ghurair and activist Hani Zitani – for the sixth time in a row.
The hearing was set to take place in September of 2014.
The hearing was illegally postponed to Wednesday, September 24, 2014, after which the court later started a series of six consecutive delays and further postponements:
From September 24, 2014 to October 1, 2014.
From October 1, 2014 to November 5, 2014.
From November 5, 2014 to November 27, 2014.
From November 27, 2014 to January 20, 2015.
The new date of the hearing has not yet been announced, neither are the reasons for the illegal delay.
This is not the first legal breach in the case of the detainees, as the charges against the human rights advocate and journalist, Mazen Darwish, Hani Zitani and Hussein Ghurair ("promotion of terrorist acts", Article (8) of the Terrorism Act) was included in the presidential decree issued in June, 2014, yet none of the detainees have been released.
The breach remains for the founder of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, Mazen Darwish, to be tried with his colleagues Zitani and Ghurair according to a law passed following their arrest in February 16, 2012.
The Terrorism Court was founded by presidential decree in July, 2012 – five months after Air Force Intelligence forces stormed the headquarters of the Center in Damascus, arresting its employees and visitors, and confiscated all its contents, without legal arrest or inspection warrants.
In accordance with United Nations resolution of May 15, 2013, together with international and Arab human rights bodies and organizations, the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression renews its demand for the Syrian authorities to release Mazen Darwish, Hani Zitani and Hussein Ghurair, immediately and unconditionally.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer