The Terrorism Court has excluded the case of several employees from the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression from Legislative Decree No. (22) issued on 10 June, 2014, which stated explicitly that "a general amnesty is granted for all the crimes committed before the date of 9 June, 2014 as follows:
For the full period of the sentence set forth in Article 8 of Law No. 19, dated 2 July, 2012 (if the offense was committed by a Syrian).
The court also rejected the requests made by the defense to:
1. Abandon the case cince the case has already been adjudicated by the military justice court on September 11, 2012, which decided to consider the duration of the arrest of eight of the workers in the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression enough, and their acquittal.
2. Reject the request of the defense to call witnesses who were called in the previous session.
The court decided in a meeting held on 30 June to postpone the case to 21 July, 2014 to give the defense the chance to present its papers and documents.
The defense of the detainees of Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression had provided the Terrorism Criminal Court in Damascus with an advisory memorandum about the court's refusal to include the case in the Legislative Decree issued. The memorandum was raised to the Advisory Board of the Supreme Judicial Council in Syria, awaiting the decision of the Council.
The refusal to apply the decree constitutes unlawful detention and an abuse of the power of the court, which emphasizes its total lack of the simplest concepts of human justice, which say that every human being has the right of a fair public trial, and that the accused is innocent until he is proven guilty.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer
It is noteworthy to mention that the human rights activist and journalist Mazen Darwish, head of the center, the blogger Hussein Ghareer, and university professor Hani az-Zitani are detained since February 16, 2012 and they are still in detention in Damascus Central Prison since they were transferred to it on November 30, 2012, after months of forcible disappearance, and they have been subjected to various forms of torture.
The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression renews its call for the Syrian government to release Darwish and his colleagues, without any stalling or procrastination, we also call the government to reveal immediately the fate of forcibly disappeared people, and we hold those authorities responsible for the physical and psychological integrity of all the detainees and the forcibly disappeared people.