Syria releases prominent human rights activist after three years of detention

ARA News 

Damascus, Syria – On Monday, Syrian authorities released a prominent human rights activist after more than three years in prison for reporting on brutal crackdown by pro-Assad forces on protesters following the outbreak of the popular anti-Assad uprising. 

In February 2012, Mazen Darwish, the director of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, was arrested by security forces in Damascus.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression confirmed Darwish’s release, adding in a statement that he will attend a court hearing on August 30. 

“After an arbitrary arrest that lasted three years, five months, and 23 days, Mazen Darwish has been released from prison today,” the organization said on Monday. 

Darwish was known as a prominent critic of the regime’s crackdown on Syrian protests that broke out against Assad’s rule in March 2011. Alongside few other journalists and human rights activists in Damascus, Darwish dared to publish detailed information about violations and arbitrary arrests by pro-Assad security forces. 

Darwish was captured on charges of “publicizing terrorist acts”.

In April, Darwish won the UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Prize in recognition of the work that he has carried out in Syria “for more than 10 years at great personal sacrifice, enduring a travel ban, harassment, as well as repeated detention and torture.”

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi 

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