Mazen Darweesh to Face Secret Field Trial, report
Local Coordination Committees learned that a letter was sent to the Military Justice in Damascus from the Air Force Intelligence stating that journalist Mazen Darweesh was soon to be transferred to Field Court, which is a secret military tribunal that doesn’t even allow the presence of the detainee’s lawyer.
On 2-16-2012 Air Force Intelligence raided the headquarters of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression and arrested 14 young men and women, who are employees, along with visitors who happened to be there.
Three days later detainees Hanady Zahlout, Razan Ghazzawy, Sanaa Zetany, Mayada Khalil, and journalist Yara Badr; the wife of journalist Mazen Darweesh, were released then arrested again on 4-22-2012 and transferred to Military Justice along with three young men, who w
The mentioned above were charged with inciting demonstrations and possessing leaflets to be distributed, according to the provisions of Article 335 p. P in terms of the peaceful demonstration law for 2011 and Article 148 of the Military Penal Code.
The fourth military judge in Damascus directed a letter to the Air Force Intelligence demanding to provide the court of any information about the Center’s license and to work on the appearance of Mazen Darweesh as a general right witness in the case, but the case was postponed several session because no answer came from the Air Force Intelligence, until a letter arrived from them on 6-8-2012 stating to prepare journalist Mazen Darweeh for transmission to the Field Court, and that the Center was practicing its activities without a license. Therefore the judge decided to overlook the request and proceed with the trial, which was postponed for the defense to a session on 8-29-2012 after prosecution repeated its claim in accordance with the initial charges.
The fate of the five detainees (Mazen Darweesh, Hasan Gharer, Abdulrahman Al-Hamada, Hany Al-Zetany, and Mansoor Al-Omary) remains unknown. It was leaked that blogger Hosain Ghorair was transferred to the Air Force Intelligence headquarters in Tahrer square; he has been on food strike for more than two weeks, while it is believed that Mazen Darweesh and his friends were transferred to the headquarters of the Fourth Division in Mazzeh.