Update : Trial of SCM members postponed

SCM staff

On July 21, the judge of the Anti-Terrorism court decided to postpone the trial of Mazen Darwish and four of his colleagues from the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression to the date of 24 September 2014.

Mazen Darwish who has been working on documenting human rights abuses by the Syrian authorities, was arrested on 16 February 2012, when plain clothes Air Force Intelligence agents raided the office of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) in Damascus and arrested all present staff members. He is on trial along with Hussein Ghrer, Hani Zaitani, Mansour Omari, and Abdel Rahman Hamada. Omari and Hamada were conditionally released on February 6, 2013 pending trial, but the other three men remain in detention.

The indictment states that the charges against them were brought for their activities as staff members of the organization. The activities included monitoring online news by the Syrian opposition, publishing studies on the human rights and media situation in Syria, and documenting names of the detained, disappeared, wanted and killed within the context of the Syrian conflict. The indictment further states that an investigative judge in Damascus considered these actions part of an attempt to “stir the internal situation in Syria and so provoke international organizations to condemn Syria in international forums.”