The political activist and former member of the “National Coalition,” lawyer Marwan Hajo al-Rifai died on Saturday of a heart attack in Istanbul.
The opposition’s activists and media news sites mourned Al-Rifai, 57, expressing their grief over the loss of the former prisoner who dedicated himself to defending the Syrian revolution and the Syrians’ demands for freedom.
Social media pages were filled with pictures of the Syrian activist, who was known for his good morals and his career of struggle against injustice, especially since his childhood years were full of torments and pains, and he was not happy like other children.
Syrians praised the son of the central city of Homs who spent nine years of his childhood in Assad’s prisons.
The activists also pointed out, on their social media pages, the virtues of the deceased “Hajo” and his great role in supporting the Syrian revolution by trying to support his countrymen in the hope of reaching the desired goal.
Activists pointed out that “Hajo al-Rifai” has spared no effort to fight against the Assad regime, but exerted it since his release from Assad’s prisons, and the torture and terror he experienced during the nine years he spent and spent his youth in the basements of the “Syrian regime.”
“Hajo al-Rifai” became active in revolutionary work with the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011 and became a member of the “Syrian National Coalition” for the forces of the revolution and the opposition and remained for several years.
“Hajo” al-Rifai previously spoke to Zaman al-Wasl in a lengthy interview about the details of the first arrest he was subjected to during the era of Hafez al-Assad, which took place on December 4, 1980, when he was 16 years old.
At the time, “Hajo al-Rifai” said that Assad’s intelligence broke into his bedroom and its members took him from his bed to their dark basements, which had no address other than death and torture.
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The middle school student added at that time that his arrest along with hundreds of children and young people whom Major General Ghazi Kanaan had taken as a preemptive and disciplinary blow to blackmail parents and make him taste bitter torment and humiliation.
“Hajo Al-Rifa’i” was transferred to several prisons belonging to the Syrian regime during his detention by Military Intelligence in 1980, where he remained in the notorious Palmyra prison for seven years.
, and “Hajo” also spent two years in Sednaya prison, which is famous for the crimes committed by those responsible for it and the atrocities that emerged from it.
“Hajo Al-Rifai” was not released from Assad’s prisons in full health and wellness, but rather saturated his body with diseases that he continued to suffer from until the day of his death due to the hunger, human violations and various torture practices he was subjected to.
“Hajo Al-Rifai” was able to obtain a baccalaureate degree after leaving the basements of the regime to enroll in the Faculty of Law and obtain the certificate in 1997, to begin the journey of searching for lost justice in light of tyranny, injustice and authoritarianism.
“Al-Rifai was also active in the field of human rights and defended the oppressed and tried to obtain their rights from the hands of the corrupt, which led him to the military court in 2003 before he came out with an amnesty that included him at that time and to continue his struggle for the demand for the release of political detainees and the restoration of their rights to no avail till the Syrian revolution broke out in 2011.
This article was 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.