Journalists Arrested in Demonstration Against Abdel Rahman Mustafa Government in al-Rai

Security forces aggressively attacked and detained four media workers, according to Hibr Press.

The city of al-Rai, located east of Aleppo, experienced heightened security measures in front of the court’s headquarters (Palace of Justice) and the Syrian interim government’s offices. This followed calls for a demonstration on Monday, advocating for judicial independence and the government’s resignation.

According to a confidential source disclosed to Hibr Press, the mobilized forces in al-Rai included civil, military, and riot control units. The source further revealed that security forces disrupted media coverage, arresting a media worker in their initial attempt to forcefully disperse the demonstration.

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Activists had scheduled the demonstration in Rai City for Monday at 1 p.m. in the Palace of Justice Square. Emphasizing their objectives, the activists aimed to demand judicial autonomy and put an end to Turkish coordinator interference and government influence on the judiciary. Additionally, they sought to prevent any meddling in the affairs of civil society organizations and professional syndicates, particularly the Free Bar Association, currently embroiled in disputes over council member elections.

Attack on Civilians and Media Workers 

Despite the presence of media and human rights defenders among the civilian crowds, security forces aggressively attacked and detained four media workers (Humam Abu Zein, Syria TV correspondent; Nizar al-Zaben, Syria TV cameraman; Malaz Abu Yazan, al-Arabiya channel cameraman; and Fares Zain al-Abidin, an independent media activist) during the dispersal of the demonstration in Rai. While they were eventually released, visible signs of assault on them and other civilians remained.

Activists strongly condemned the actions of the security forces in Rai, branding them as a new incarnation of the shabiha, donned in the guise of revolutionaries. Those who defended these forces were seen as complicit in their actions.

Civilians highlighted the parallels between the methods employed by these security services, allegedly working to support the government of Abdul Rahman Mustafa, and the tactics of the regime’s security forces in preserving the Assad government. The key distinction lies in the former’s claim to be fighting against tyranny, championing rights, and supporting the demands and demonstrations of civilians, while the latter is known for its tyrannical behavior.

The Association of Revolutionary Activists in Homs condemned the “brutal assault” on Syrian journalists and media workers by the civil police during the Rai protest. In response, a demonstration unfolded in front of the city’s police station. The Syrian Media Union called for the dismissal and accountability of the Palace of Justice Police members responsible for assaulting demonstrators and media workers in Rai.

 

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.

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