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This article was published on February 16, 2012

    Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression raided, 12 bloggers and activists arrested

    Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression raided, 12 bloggers and activists arrested
    Nancy Messieh
    Story by

    Nancy Messieh

    Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]

    Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi, whose arrest last December sparked an online outcry, has once again been arrested.

    After being charged with several ‘crimes’ in December, each of which could result in a 15 year prison sentence, Ghazzawi was released just under a week later, although there was no mention of whether or not the charges against her had been dropped. Today, rumours of her arrest began to circulate on Twitter, and a tweet from her sister, Nadine Ghazzawi, confirms the news.

    This time around, it is not just Ghazzawi who has been detained by Syrian authorities.

    The blogger along with 11 of her colleagues from the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCMFE) were arrested following a raid on their offices in Damascus. AFP has reported that human rights activist and head of the SCMFE Mazen Darwish, and his wife, were among those arrested.

    A full list of the detainees has been posted by The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, accompanied by the following statement:

    “ANHRI learned today that the Syrian security forces have detained the activist Mazen Darwish and his family from their home, as well as the staff of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression in the Arab World…We still have not learned the circumstances of the detention of its reasons. We will keep our website updated with details once furnished.”

    The news of the arrests comes shortly after a report revealed that Syrian authorities have been blocking text messages which contain phrases and words, which in any way relate to the ongoing protests in the country.