Injured Syrian Journalist Arrested

Sources have told the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression in Syria that Mohammad Omar Al-Khatib was injured yesterday 8/1/2012 at 11:30 AM after a gunshot hit his foot in an ambush carried by Syrian security services in Sahnaya (Damascus Suburbs). The source also said that the journalist was later arrested and taken to an unknown destination.

sources close to the journalist have confirmed to SCM that Khatib, and upon leaving Moadamieh (Damascus Suburbs) yesterday at 11:30 AM, “received a gunshot injury in one of his legs in an ambush carried by security services who took him to an unknown destination.” The source adds: “no information has come to light ever since.”

Al-Khatib was born in Damascus in 1980, he graduated from Media department at the University of Damascus in 2010. He worked at the economy division at Al-Watan newspaper then as a reporter for the local news division at the same newspaper.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression strongly condemns the shooting that targeted Al-Khatib and expresses its concerns over the deterioration of his health condition, especially that he was detained injured, and demands the Syrian authorities to provide him with immediate medical care and calls to disclose his fate and to release him immediately.

SCM also calls upon the Syrian authorities to open an immediate investigation on the circumstances surrounding Al-Khatib’s gunshot injury, and accordingly, we stress that the protection of journalists are the legal, moral and constitutional responsibilities of the state, and reminds the authorities that free speech is a right guaranteed to all citizens according to the Syrian constitution.