Jihad Jamal, Freelance
Charge:No charge
Imprisoned:March 7, 2012

Jamal, a contributor to local news websites, was detained at a Damascus café along with several human rights activists, according to local news websites. Jamal also aggregated news stories for dissemination to international outlets.

In May 2012, Jamal's case was transferred to a military court, according to news reports. He waged a hunger strike that month to protest his detention, reports said. Authorities had not disclosed any other information about Jamal's legal status, whereabouts, or well-being in late 2016.

In October 2016, CPJ emailed the Syrian mission to the United Nations asking for information on Jamal's legal status and health. The mission did not respond. Thousands of Syrians have disappeared into Syrian custody since the start of the uprising in 2011. According to a 2015 Human Rights Watch report, families are often forced to pay large bribes to learn any information about their relatives, and other families never approach the security branches for fear of being arrested themselves. Of 27 families of deceased prisoners interviewed by Human Rights Watch for the report, only two received formal death certificates.

Jamal had been arrested several times previously, including once in October 2011 when he was detained along with Sean McAllister, a British reporter working for the U.K.'s Channel 4. Local news websites said his repeated arrests stemmed from his reporting on human rights abuses and the popular uprising.

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