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A journalist and a film director tortured, killed in Syrian jails

The Syrian regime should bear the full criminal responsibility for the deaths of a journalist and a film director who were being tortured in Syrian prisons, said the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).

The family of Syrian film director Mamoun Saeed Noufal received, on 23 August 2013, a phone call from the Syrian security forces informing them of his death and where they can find his body. When the family went to the military police to receive it they were told that he had passed away on 6 June and that they would have to go to Al-Mujtahid hospital in Damascus to pick up his personal belongings, not his body.

The film director was known for supporting the peaceful Syrian revolution as well as for his participation in relief work and for distributing humanitarian aid to thousands of immigrant families that fled to Jaramana. He languished in one Syrian prison, affiliated to the Syrian State Security, for nine months after being arrested from his house in Jaramana by the Syrian regime.

On 24 August, the Syrian Journalists Association (SJA), on its Facebook account, announced the death of Zyad Arafa, a Syrian journalist, under torture by the Syrian security forces in Damascus.

ANHRI pointed out that journalists and media professionals experience many violations during their coverage of actions by the Syrian regime or the Free Syrian Army. Many journalists and media professionals were either killed, injured, or arrested during the war.

“The Syrian regime committed numerous violations against the press and media freedoms. It has arrested, harassed, and targeted journalists. At the hands of the regime, the heinous crime of torture was also committed against imprisoned journalists," said the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, "The regime has breached all international laws and treaties concerning the press and media freedoms.”

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