Rights groups call for release of Syria activists

A coalition of 71 human rights groups released a statement (PDF)  on Feb. 16 urging the Syrian government to release three prominent human rights defenders on the third anniversary of their imprisonment. The statement identifies the three men, Mazen Darwish, Hani Al-Zitani and Hussein Gharir, as Syrian journalists who were arrested in a raid of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), and who have been detained and tortured on charges of "publicizing terrorist acts" under Syria's Anti-Terrorism Law of 2012. Despite being formally charged one year ago, their trial has been repeatedly postponed, and the government's applicable 2014 amnesty grant has not been honored. The organizations claim that the men are being persecuted for their legitimate human rights work by being arbitrarily deprived of their liberty, and call for the immediate release of these three men and anyone who is being arbitrarily detained by the Syrian government.

From Jurist, Feb. 16. Used with permission.