CPJ joins call for Syria to drop charges against press freedom activists

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined 16 other human rights and press freedom organisations calling on Syrian authorities to drop charges against Mazen Darwish, the founder of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, who was released from prison on August 10.

Under Darwish’s leadership, the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression documented human rights violations in Syria, including press freedom abuses. In February 2012, Syrian Air Force Intelligence agents raided its offices in Damascus and arrested Darwish, along with his colleagues Hani al-Zitani and Hussein Ghrer. In February 2013 they were charged with “publicizing terrorist acts,” according to reports.

Zitani and Ghrer were released on July 19. But charges against the three press freedom activists have not been dropped. On August 30, Darwish, al-Zitani, and Ghrer are due to appear before the Anti-Terrorism Court, according to Amnesty International.

A copy of the joint statement can be viewed here.