Hussein Ghrer discusses his recent experience in Syrian regime prisons as a political detainee for over three and a half years. Keffah Ali Deeb reflects on her experience as a political activist in Syria and shares her story about the four separate occasions on which she was arrested and detained by the Syrian regime. Milad Shehabi recounts his experience as a Syrian citizen journalist in Aleppo and his detention in ISIS prisons.
Hussein Ghrer is a Syrian blogger and a member of the Damascus-based Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM). As crisis engulfed Syria in 2011, the SCM and its staff worked to document serious and widespread human rights abuses with a view to contributing to a process leading to truth, justice and reconciliation.
He was arrested on 16 February 2012, when plain clothes Air Force Intelligence agents raided SCM’s office in Damascus and arrested all present staff members. He had been held in incommunicado detention for several months.
He was arrested on 16 February 2012, when plain clothes Air Force Intelligence agents raided SCM’s office in Damascus and arrested all present staff members. He had been held in incommunicado detention for several months. In November 2012, he was brought to `Adra prison, in the outskirts of Damascus, where he received a first visit by his relatives.
On 5 February 2013, he was charged before an investigating judge of the Anti-Terrorism Court who decided to maintain him in detention. The written indictment dated 27 February 2013 explicitly refers to his work to promote and protect human rights – actions which are held against him as part of an attempt to promote terrorist acts and to “stir the internal situation in Syria and so provoke international organizations to condemn Syria in international forums”. A May 15, 2013 UN General Assembly resolution included a demand for his immediate release.
Keffah Ali Deeb
Keffah Ali Deeb, is an award-winning artist, writer, and political activist from Syria. During the Syrian Uprising, she had been working with the internal opposition organization, the National Coordination Body. She was arrested and detained on four separate occasions. After her final arrest, she left Syria and sought asylum later in Germany. Deep supported peace efforts and called for the equal participation of women in peace talks at different events. She was part of the Syrian Women’s Initiative for Peace and Democracy organized by the UN Women on January 11-13, 2014, in Geneva.
Milad Shehabi is a media activist from Aleppo, Syria. He was one of the first young journalists who documented the events of the Syrian Uprising. He was arrested by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in late 2013. Currently, he lives in Aleppo, where he works with BASMA agency in producing documentary films.
[This article is published jointly in partnership with STATUS.]