Posted 2013/2/8

Syria: Death of human rights defender Mr Ayham Mostafa Ghazzoul following torture

Ayham Mostafa GhazzoulAyham Mostafa Ghazzoul

Front Line Defenders is saddened to learn of the death of Mr Ayham Mostafa Ghazzoul, a 26-year-old human rights defender and member of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), as a result of being beaten and tortured during detention. Front Line Defenders urges an immediate and impartial investigation into the abuses suffered by the human rights defender.

Ayham Mostafa Ghazzoul was arrested on 5 November 2012, reportedly by students loyal to the Syrian Government, and turned over to the Air Force Intelligence in Mezze. Four days later, on 9 November 2012, he died from injuries sustained from the torture and repeated beatings he was subjected to while in detention.

The human rights defender had already spent much of the preceding year in detention after having been previously arrested on 16 February 2012 during a state crackdown on SCM that ended with the arrest of all SCM members and staff.

Ayham Mostafa Ghazzoul was released after spending 88 days at both Air Force Intelligence and Adra Prison. He was tried by a military court martial along with six other SCM members on charges of “possession of illegal documents published with the aim of overthrowing the regime”. The human rights defender was finally released after being sentenced to the equivalent of the time already spent in detention.