Syrian Journalists and Bloggers Arrested for Reporting Unrest

Stop Fundamentalism – 14 Journalist and bloggers were arrested in a raid by the Syrian government in Damascus Thursday, reports the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote press freedom worldwide.

CPJ says the group of Syrian journalist were members of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression which holds a consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (2011)and has played a key role in getting out the news and information about protests and uprising in Syria.  Foreign Journalists are banned for most part from Syria.

Anyone “who dares to report on the unrest in Syria is in danger of arrest or physical violence,” said Robert Mahoney, CPJ Director adding, “Damascus should immediately release all those detained and stop its brutal crackdown.”

Among those arrested was Mazen Darwish, director of Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression and his wife Yara Badr, says CPJ on its website.  Darwish and his wife are both leading and well known human rights activist and journalist in Syria. Darwish received the Roland Berger Human Dignity Award in October 2011.

Darwish was detained last year for participating in protests and calling for the release of political prisoners.

In a separate statement, Reporters Without Borders condemned Darwish’s arrest and that of his friends including his wife.  The international journalist right organization expressed extreme concern for the physical saftly of those arrested and called for their immediate release.

The other 12 who have been arrested are Hanadi Zahlout, Hussein Greir, Hani Z’itani, Sana Z’itani, Rita Dayoub, Joan Farso, Bassam Al-Ahmad, Mayada Al-Khalil, Maha Al-Assablani, Mansour Hamid and Abdelrahman Hamadah.