Bloggers in Syria considered enemies of the statePosted Mar 2 2011
The Syrian government fears the ability of netizens and bloggers to exchange information and organize protests, according to Reporters Without Borders.
The regime continues a series of arrests, the latest being Ahmad Hadifa, known by his blog name Ahmad Abu Al-Kheir. Military officials detained him in the northwestern city of Baniyas on Feb. 20, and confiscated his computer on Feb. 21, according to Reporters Without Borders. He was reportedly going to be interrogated on Feb. 24.
Another blogger and activist, Kamal Hussein Sheikho, has been held since June 2010. He recently began a hunger strike because of poor conditions in the Adra prison, according to Reporters Without Borders. His trial is set for March 7.
Tal Al-Mallouhi was given a 5-year sentence on a spying charge and is the world’s youngest imprisoned blogger at age 20. The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that Al-Mallouhi was detained in 2009 and held for almost a year without being charged. She was sentenced after a closed trial for disclosing information to a foreign country.
According to Reporters Without Borders, there are at least three other bloggers about whom there has been no news since their arrests. Firaz Akram Mahmoud was arrested on Feb. 5, Ahmed Ben Farhan Al-Alawi was arrested on Oct. 26, 2010 and Ahmed Ben Abdelhalim Aboush was arrested on July 10, 2010.
Ali Al-Abdallah has remained in jail since his arrest in 2007, according to Reporters Without Borders, and his verdict has been postponed. Finally, journalist Maan Aqil is “still banned from traveling abroad and is being subjected to constant harassment,” said Reporters Without Borders.