|Osama al-Habaly, Freelance
|August 18, 2012
Al-Habaly, a Syrian freelance photojournalist, was arrested as he crossed from Lebanon back to Syria, according to his friends and colleagues.
Al-Habaly's work is featured in several shorts for the Abounaddara Collective, a group of anonymous filmmakers that published short clips on the Syrian conflict once a week since 2011, a representative of the group told CPJ.
A Facebook user posted in September 2012 that he had seen al-Habaly while being held in the military security branch in Homs. Amnesty International reported in October 2012 that an unidentified source told al-Habaly's family he had been transferred to the military intelligence branch in Damascus.
A Syrian lawyer, who asked for anonymity for fear of retribution, told CPJ in August 2014 that al-Habaly had been referred to a military field court and was being held in Sednaya Prison near Damascus, but did not offer further details. CPJ could not independently confirm the claim.
Sednaya prison has long been known for the brutal treatment of its detainees, even before the Syrian conflict began. At least one journalist, Palestine Today TV reporter Bilal Ahmed Bilal, died in either late 2013 or early 2014 while in custody in Sednaya, his station reported. Reports by local human rights groups and news outlets said he had been tortured to death.
By late 2015, the Syrian government had not disclosed any information about al-Habaly's health, whereabouts, or legal status.
CPJ did not include al-Habaly in its 2012 or 2013 prison census because his work as a journalist had not been publicly disclosed.
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