"The plaintiffs against him include two journalists: Amer Matar and Hussein Ghrer. Arrested twice in 2011 in connection with his freelance journalism, Matar was tortured during interrogation and was accused of “spreading false news” and “undermining the nation’s morale.”
Ghrer was arrested in 2012 while at the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) in Damascus, and was then jailed for nine months, during which he was placed in solitary confinement.
“This trial is a major step toward ending the unbearable impunity for crimes against journalists by the Syrian intelligence services,” said Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “But we must not forget that the two journalists who are plaintiffs in this trial are among the very few who managed to escape. Hundreds of others disappeared completely after being arrested.”