Syria: fears for activists after Damascus media centre raided

Blogger Razan Ghazzawi among those held

The Syrian authorities must release or charge a group of at least 14 people arrested on Thursday in a raid on the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression in Damascus, Amnesty International has said.
 
A lawyer based in Syria told Amnesty that the centre’s director Mazen Darwish and Syrian-American blogger Razan Ghazzawi were among those detained.
 
Security forces removed the group from the office at around 1pm on Thursday and it is believed they are being held at Air Force Intelligence. Amnesty has learnt that one person has been released, but that some 15 people may still be held.

Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa interim Deputy Director Ann Harrison said:

“We fear that some or all of those arrested at the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression are prisoners of conscience.
 
“If this is the case, they should be released immediately and unconditionally. Otherwise they should be charged with an internationally recognisable criminal offence and tried in accordance with international fair trial standards.

“They must also be protected from torture or other ill-treatment while held.”

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