Syrian authorities are still holding Mazin Darwish, the head of Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, in solitary confinement in the interrogation section at Air Intelligence headquarters in Damascus.
Detained since February 16, Darwish is critically ill and is denied visitors, medical and legal assistance.
DCMF reiterates its appeal to Syrian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him along with all other journalists in their custody.
Syrian Human Rights League expressed deep concerns about Darwish's continued arrest, pointing out that "his continued detention in solitary confinement in spite of his deteriorating health is a flagrant violation of all international human rights conventions, especially articles 22 and 24 defining minimum rules for prisoner treatment as well as provision of medical care. It is also in clear breach of the chapter seven of the fundamental principles issued by the UN in 1990 , governing the treatment of prisoners and calling for the need to deploy efforts to scrap solitary confinement sentence or limit its use."
The League calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Darwish and all his colleague prisoners who were detained over charges related to his case.
From Prison to Court
Darwish was arrested by Air Force intelligence officers with the help of gunmen in plainclothes. He was with a group of colleagues when the officers stormed their offices on February 16, confiscating their computers, documents and equipment. The security elements closed down the offices, blindfolded the activists and took them to unknown location.
Seven of them were released with conditions and asked to report daily to detention center for further interrogation. Later, a military court charged them with "owning banned pamphlets."
Darwish and his colleagues Abderrahman Hanada, Husein Grir, Mansour Al-Oumry and Hani Zitani remain behind bars.
Reports have suggested that Darwish and his colleagues have been subjected to "methodic torture on a large scale."
Members of Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression are standing military trial over charges related to "owning banned pamphlets." These members are: Mayada Al-Khalil, Sana Mohsen, Ayham Gazal, Bassam Al-Ahmad, Joan Ahmed and Yara Badr Hanadi Zhleut.
The trial has been repeatedly postponed because Darwish was not brought to any hearings. The last postponement pushed the date back to August 6. A request for bringing Darwish to the hearing was made but so far no answer had been provided by air force intelligence.