The defense of detainees of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of expression defend with lack of court’s jurisdiction.
The Criminal Court of terrorism prosecution charged the human rights defender Mazen Darwish, the director of “The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression “, and two of his colleagues: Hani Zitani and Hussein Greer with “promoting terrorist acts “- Article 8 of the Terrorism Act, on March24, 2014. The court demanded maximum penalty judgment, which is hard labor for a period of fifteen years in prison.
Article (8) says: “each one who distribute publications or stored information in any form to promote for the means of terrorism or acts of terrorism will be punished by imprisonment with hard labor. The same penalty applied on any one who administrate or use a website for this purpose.”
Prominently, despite the postponement of the case for more than a year under the pretext of collecting evidence for these claims, the prosecution came out with one orphan constituted sentence: (claim to inflict extreme punishment), without presenting any proof or presumption to these allegations .
The hearing was adjourned to the 18th of June 2014, as the defense pleaded that this case is not the jurisdiction of this court, based on the facts that the case:
1 – Related to the activity and work of “The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression”, which is a civil rights organization licensed since 2004. The Activity and work of this center could not be classified by any mean within the scope of terrorism cases – the court’s jurisdiction.
2 – The case has been adjudicated by the military judiciary on September 11- 2012, which decided to be content with the duration of the arrest of each of the workers in the “The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression”, and the acquittal for its visitors.
3 – (Air Force Intelligence Management) is the body who referred Mazen to the court of terrorism cases; this body is not one of the Syrian Judicial Police assistants, according to the Article (8) of the Syrian Code of Criminal Procedure, moreover, there is no special provision states this as required by Article (8) of the same law.
4 –The raid and arrest procedures was made without a legal memorandum permission, which requires the invalidity of all the actions taken, and the ratification that ” terrorism cases ” court lacks jurisdiction of this lawsuit.
We in the “Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression” call on the concerned authorities to give the case papers back to the ordinary court if it is required. Otherwise, we ask for immediate and unconditional release of all detained colleagues since February 2012, and drop the charges filed against them, which also includes Mansour Al Omari and Abdul Rahman Hamada, whom which the court approved to be tried while out of prison on February 2013.