From 7 – 8pm tonight , at Millennium Bridge there will be a candlelit vigil for Syria’s silenced voices.
Such voices include Hussein Gharir, Mazen Darwish and Hani al-Zitani who all work for the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) – a Syrian NGO. After the beginning of the crisis in 2011, the centre began working on the documentation of violations against civilians, including the recording of the names of civilians detained, disappared and killed.
Syrian Air Force Intelligence officers raided the office of the SCM in February 2012 and arrested staff and visitors present. The majority of people were released over the course of one year, but Hussein, Mazen and Hani remained in detention. They were charged before the Anti-Terrorism Court in February 2013, after having spent months in conditions amounting to enforced disappearances. Some of their colleagues who were later released, told us of the torture and other ill-treatment they had experienced.
Hussein, Mazen and Hani are now on trial under the Anti-Terrorism Law for ‘publicizing terrorist acts’, despite calls for their release by the UN General Assembly and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Their next trial session is scheduled for 25 March.