At Least 131,178 Citizens Arrested Since March 2011 Are Still Detained/Disappeared in Syrian Regime Forces’ Detention Centers
Paris – Statement by the Syrian Network for Human Rights:
On Thursday, June 24, 2021, Syrian regime forces arrested journalist Bassam Safar, as he was passing through a regime checkpoint at the entrance to al Dwail’a neighborhood in Damascus city while returning to his home. The arrest was carried out without any legal arrest warrant being issued, which is a general rule in the vast majority of arrests carried out by the regime’s security services and at its army checkpoints. Since his arrest, Bassam has also been prevented from communicating with his family or a lawyer and has been taken to an undisclosed location. His fate remains unknown to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).
We at the SNHR confirm that Bassam was also arrested by Syrian regime forces in early June 2021, while returning from al Qameshli city in the suburbs of Hasaka governorate to Damascus city via Damascus International Airport, with the reasons for that arrest also unexplained and no clear charges being brought against him.
Bassam had conducted an interview with the General Coordinator of the National Coordination Committee, Hassan Abdul Azim, in which he talked about the committee’s position on the recent ‘presidential elections’ in Syria, and we believe that this interview may be the reason behind his arrest and enforced disappearance.
Journalist and writer Bassam Safar, from Salamiya city, east of Hama governorate, who lives in Damascus, was born in 1962. A graduate of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts’ Department of Dramatic Studies, he has been working as a journalist since 1992. Safar is a member of the Executive Office of the National Coordination Committee for the Forces of Democratic Change, and an editor with the cultural section of the North Press Agency.
He is also a former political prisoner during the reign of Hafez al Assad, and was imprisoned in 1986, being detained for nearly five years in connection with his political activity and his affiliation with the Communist Action Party.
The International Federation of Journalists had condemned the Syrian regime’s arrest of journalist Bassam Safar, while the Syrian regime has issued no comment or reaction to Bassam’s disappearance up until the publication of this statement.