Damascus Voice has learned from Assad regime security sources that news of the death of journalist Wissam al-Teir, head of the Damascus Now Network is circulating between security and media official. Teir was held and interrogated by the Air Force Intelligence for over a month.
Three sources confirmed to Damascus Voice that Teir had been died about two weeks ago,while being tortured. Other sources denied the news, saying that it was only a rumor that had been circulated by people who wanted to put pressure on the regime to show Teir, who has not been seen since he was arrested at his office over a month ago.
The sources, which confirmed Teir’s death, said that a state of confusion prevailed in the Air Force Intelligence Directorate after the death, as the command had not been informed of Teir’s death until today.
Regime intelligence arrested Wissam al-Teir at his office in the Dama Rose Hotel in Damascus in December 2018, along with a friend who was released after two days, while Teir remained in detention with the Air Force Intelligence.
Two days after Teir’s arrest, Air Force Intelligence forces stormed a number of offices in which Damascus Now correspondents worked, confiscating much of their equipment.
There were conflicting reports about Teir’s arrest. Media sources said that he had been charged with spying for a foreign country, and selling media equipment to agencies under the authority of a country hostile to the Assad regime.
Other sources told Damascus Voice that Teir had been intending to open major corruption files concerning the former Interior Minister, General Mohamed al-Shaer, related to the embezzlement of billions of Syrian pounds from the funds of the Interior Ministry and the Internal Security Forces. They said that Shaer was behind Teir’s arrest.
Wissam al-Teir is one of the most prominent regime media figures, and the Damascus Now Network has worked in recent years to cover battles and bombardments from the perspective of the regime and its allies.
Previously, the regime has prevented Teir from meeting Bashar al-Assad and covering his appearance in Ghouta during the military campaign in March 2018, which caused him to quit his media work for a time, before returning and continuing to work far from the front lines.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.