President of the Journalists’ Union in Damascus, Mousa Abdel Nour, commented on the arrest of journalist Hala al-Jarf, in the Union’s first official statement on the matter.
Abdel Nour said, during a radio interview, that “TV anchor, Hala al-Jarf, has been arrested, pending investigation, since last Tuesday, due to her social media activity, and that the matter is currently being monitored. We visited her at the Criminal Security Department and looked at the legal conditions surrounding the arrest.”
Without giving details about the reasons for the arrest, Abdel Nour stated that “it has been confirmed by the concerned authorities that there is a clear violation on Facebook, and therefore legal measures have been taken.”
He added, “If the case is transferred to the judiciary, then, naturally, the latter will request that the Union be part of the process,” highlighting the role of the Union, which is to examine the legality of the case and defend the journalist, whether the media outlet is state-owned or private.
When asked about Information Minister Imad Sarah’s recent statement that no journalist should be arrested, Abdel Nour said, “I imagine what the minister meant is that journalists should not be arrested if the particular case is related to publishing, in writing, through media outlets.”
Syrian journalists always fall into the trap of cybercrime, as we wait for a new media law according to which journalists are held accountable.
The Ministry of Interior published news about the arrest of eight people, on charges of dealing and communicating with “suspicious” websites. The ministry did not mention the full names of the detainees. However, Al Etihad Press learned from private sources that one of them, whose initials are H.J., refers to Hala al-Jarf, and that the reason for the arrest is working with the Nour Aleppo page, which publishes corruption files.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.