Freelance | Imprisoned in Syria | August 10, 2013

Job:Editor, Internet Reporter, Print reporter
Medium:Internet, Print
Beats Covered:Culture, Human Rights, Politics
Local or Foreign:Local
Charge:No charge
Length of Sentence:Not Sentenced
Reported Health Problems:No

Mohamed was last seen being taken away by security forces on Revolution Street in Damascus in August 2013, according to local and regional news reports and a Facebook page calling for his release.

Mohamed, a freelance writer, had contributed several critical articles to local news websites, including the pro-reform Alef Today. In his articles, he criticized the government's crackdown on peaceful protests and called for reforms.

Mohamed's wife told CPJ that, despite her efforts to gather information about the whereabouts of her husband and rumors that Mohamed had been either killed in detention or seen at a Syrian military intelligence detention facility known as Section 215 and in Damascus' Sednaya Prison, there is no evidence of his whereabouts.

Mohamed was the editor-in-chief of the weekly Kassioun before leaving the paper in the summer of 2012, citing a disagreement with the paper's editorial position, according to a staff member at Kassioun who spoke to CPJ. The paper is affiliated with the socialist Popular Will party, which unlike other opposition groups showed a willingness to engage with the Syrian government.

Syrian state security forces had previously held Mohamed for questioning in connection with his journalistic activities after leaving Kassioun, according to news reports that did not specify the exact date of the earlier detention. The journalist had joined Kassioun in 2006, the reports said.

As of late 2017, the Syrian mission to the United Nations had not responded to CPJ's emailed request for information on Mohamed's legal status and health.

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.

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