Ayham Mostafa Ghazzoul

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Ghazzoul, 26, a contributor and member of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom Expression (SCM), died in prison from injuries he sustained during an attack on November 5 by students at Damascus University, according to SCM and a report by the Dublin-based international human rights organization Frontline Defenders.

Ghazzoul was in the Student Union on the campus of the university when he was targeted in an attack by students loyal to Bashar al-Assad's regime, according to SCM and Frontline Defenders. The journalist was known for reporting on abuses against journalists by al-Assad's government and for documenting the killing and imprisonment of SCM journalists, according to Ghazzoul's uncle, Tawfik Halaaq, who spoke to SCM. The students beat Ghazzoul repeatedly and then handed him over to security forces who imprisoned him.

Security forces imprisoned Ghazzoul at the Air Force Intelligence Base, a prison in the Damascus suburb of Mezze, where he died four days later, according to an SCM member who spoke to Ghazzoul's cell mate in prison. The journalist never received treatment for his injuries.

SCM has been instrumental in documenting the deaths and detentions of journalists after the popular uprising began in March 2011. The group's work is picked up by international and regional news outlets such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya and human rights and press freedom groups.

Security forces had arrested Ghazzoul and 13 other members from SCM in a raid on their offices in February 2012. Ghazzoul was released in May 2012 after being charged with the "possession of banned publications," CPJ research shows.

Ghazzoul was studying toward a graduate degree in dental medicine at Damascus University at the time of his death.

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