Journalist assaulted by Syrian Interim Government’s guard

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Ahmed Touma, PM of the Syrian Interim Government in a press conference in Istanbul. File photo

ARA News

Cologne, Germany – Mohamad Hrith, editor-in-chief of Khotwa news agency, was hit by one of the bodyguards of the Syrian Interim Government’s Prime Minister Ahmed Touma last week, causing some contusions in his shoulder and legs.

In a recorded interview published on social media, Interim Government’s Public relations’ manager Dr. Mohamad Shikh Ibrahim talked about the incident accusing Hrith of “entering the prime minister’s office forcibly and offending him for personal reasons, which led Touma’s guard to push Hrith away then beating him”.

The Interim Government’s (linked to the Syrian National Coalition) statement mentioned holding the bodyguard accountable for his aggressive personal reaction and at the same time condemned the journalist’s “untactful behaviour”.

Talking to ARA News about the assault’s reasons, Mohamad Hrith  said that he was in a visit to Touma’s office with Dr. Rafad al-Ali and Dr. Hasan Assaf to talk about Syria’s eastern region’s bad situations and ask for support.

“We were surprised that the bodyguard started shouting in the presence of the Prime Minister asking us to leave, then started to beat us,” Hrith said.

Hrith mentioned that he submitted a complaint to the Turkish Government (where the SNC-led Interim Government is based) against Touma and his guards. “This behaviour is irresponsible and an insult to the (Syrian) revolution’s dignity as well as a refusal to the revolutionary action.”

According to the Syrian activist Hisham Jroj, it was a preplanned situation. “I was present when Hrith came in a suspicious way. He said he want to go to the toilet then told his friend to wait and watch what he was about to do,” Jroj said.

“I do not defend the government but I will testify of what I have seen before the court. Hrith intended to blackmail the government to get funds,” Jroj told ARA News.

The Syrian Interim Government was established on 11 November, 2013, by the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces (SNC) to run opposition-held areas in Syria.

 

Reporting by: Ali Isso

Source: ARA News

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