Mazen Darwish is a human rights defender and journalist from Syria. Even though he finished a law degree, he was, due to his human rights activities, never accepted at the Syrian Bar Association to work as a lawyer.
For years, Darwish has been advocating press freedom and free speech inSyria. In 2000, Mazen Darwish founded the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), creating the first ever NGO in Syria.
His active commitment to human rights has repeatedly made him a victim of state repression. He has been arrested several times, and during one of these arrests he was battered by police truncheons. In 2007 his passport was confiscated by the authorities, for they did not want to allow him to travel abroad. He has not been able to leave Syria since then, although his two children live in France.
Darwish is arrested on 16 February 2012.
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