Policies of Detentions and Enforced Disappearances against Journalists Continues Across Syria

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression is deeply concerned about news reported by Arab media and circulated in social networks that Dr. Mohammad Jamal Tahhan has been murdered on Monday 28/11/2011. We call on the Syrian authorities to immediately disclose the fate of the journalist and writer Dr. Mohammed Jamal Tahhan and release him or refer him to a fair and public hearing.

Dr. Tahhan, born in Aleppo 1957, has been detained for more than four months after security forces raided his place in Aleppo on 20/7/2011. We would like to remind our readers that a prostate cancer surgery was performed on Dr. Tahhan 20 days prior his arrest.

Dr. Tahhan holds a Ph.D. in philosophy, he’s a member of the Arab Writers Union, member of the Journalists’ Union and editor of the newspaper Tishreen in Aleppo. He’s the author of more than thirty books.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression also demands Syrian authorities to disclose the fate of journalist Abdul Majid Tamer, who has been detained for more than six months since 31/05/2011 in an ambush carried by political security services by calling him from a strange number, no information about him has come to light ever since.

We also demand the release of journalist Tariq Saeed Balsha who was arrested in Latakia on 19/8/2011 over his coverage of the events in Raml camp there. Sources told the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression that the journalist is now being held at the Central Prison in Latakia.

Balsha is married with two children (6 years / year), he covered security forces’ break-ins in Latakia as well as demonstrations occurring there. He also appeared several times on channel as an eyewitness in Latakia under the pseudoname "Abu Mohammed".

The Centre also calls for the release of journalist Abdul Majeed Rashid Rahmon who was detained in the Mazraaf village in Hama on 23/8/2011. He writes for the daily governmental newspaper Al-Fidaa in Hama.

Also in Hama, journalist Adel Walid Kharsah was detained on 17/08/2011 and we are very concerned about his condition after Amnesty International issued a statement saying that the journalist is being tortured by regime forces in detention. We call for his immediate release and condemn regime’s policies against freedom of expression and speech in Syria.

Finally, we call for the disclosure of the fate of writer Hussein Esso and his release from detention since 3/9/2011 in Hasaka when Air Force Intelligence services raided his home and detained him. Note that Esso suffers from a heart condition and we fear that he’s not being allowed to take his medication regularly, which might lead to deterioration in his health.