Syria: Jailed journalist in critical condition must be released

The health of journalist Mohammed Al Sagheer, who was arrested on June 7, 2019 in Northeast Syria and sentenced by a military anti-terrorism court to 25 years in jail, is deteriorating rapidly according to his family. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) which called the original case against him implausible, has demanded his immediate release because of his critical health condition.

For over two years, Al Sagheer’s family, the IFJ and our Syrian affiliates have been demanding information about his state of health and the charges he was facing. Last month, Khalid Alhasan, a journalist who was arrested with him in the same case, was released from jail.

The IFJ was informed in August 2021 that the journalist had suffered multiple strokes in jail. Considering his critical health condition, on August 10, the IFJ sent a letter to Ilham Ahmed, the President of the Executive Committee of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), to ask for her support to free him.

On September 16, Al Sagheer’s family informed the IFJ that his condition was deteriorating fast after he suffered an additional stroke on September 12.

The IFJ leadership are all shocked to hear the news about the very serious mental and physical state of our colleague caused by his imprisonment and his suffering from multiple strokes while in jail”, the IFJ said in its letter.

Anthony Bellanger, the General Secretary of the IFJ, said: Our colleague is facing immense suffering in jail, and without adequate health and family care, his days are numbered. We urge the SDF and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria to secure his release so he can spend his remaining days with his family.”

The IFJ found the accusations against Al Sagheer implausible and regards him as a well-known journalist who reported on the daily life of people living in the region and ongoing economic and security hardships they faced.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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