As the situation in Syria continues to escalate, and the true extent of the bloodshed, detention and torture (see: Human Rights Watch’s report and the detention of Bassel Khartabil) is laid bare, it’s quite inspiring to know that Syrian bloggers aren’t shrinking in fear, but showing their strength. A number of Syrian bloggers have now teamed up to highlight the detention of writer Hussein Ghrer, who is now on a hunger strike as he enters his fifth month in prison, far past the 60 day limit.
“We received information that Syrian blogger Hussein Greer began a hunger strike to protest his continued incarceration after spending 143 days in detention cells as of the date of this statement,” reads an entry on the Free Hussein blog.
According to the blog, Ghrer, who is 33 years old and a computer science graduate, “was detained on 16-2-2012 in a raid on Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression’s office in Damascus by Air Force Intelligence – Mazzahbranch. This is Ghrer’s second arrest; he was detained on 24-10-2011 and released on 1-12-2011 on bail and is still on trial.”
The entire staff of the Syrian Center and their visitors were arrested and their computers confiscated. The other five staff members who are still in detention are Mazen Darwish, Hussein Ghrer, Abdel Rahman Hamada, Hani Zetani and Mansour Al-Omari.
As blogger Yazan Badran wrote yesterday, “With every new detainee, our country, that idea of country, chokes a little bit more. With every new detainee, our own incarceration becomes a little tighter, and our exile a little less bearable. To liberate them is to deliver ourselves from this nightmare, and to bring back to this land its lifeline. Make no mistake, #FreeRazan, #FreeBassel or #FreeHusssein, all mean the same thing.”