Syria: IFJ and SJU demand release of jailed journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined its affiliate, the Syrian Journalists Union (SJU), in calling for the release of journalist Mohammed Al Sagheer in a letter to the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC). The journalist was arrested on 7 June, 2019 in Northeast Syria and sentenced by a military anti-terrorism court to 25 years in jail.

Journalist Mohammed Al Sagheer, Credits: SJU

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. In August 2021, Khalid Alhasan, a journalist who was arrested with him in the same case, was released from jail.

On September 16, Al Sagheer’s family informed the IFJ that his condition was deteriorating fast after he had suffered multiple strokes.

“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, IFJ General Secretary said: “Our colleague is facing immense suffering in jail and without adequate health and family care his days are numbered. We urge the SDC to call on 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 previously called the accusations against Al Sagheer "implausible" and recognises him as a well-known journalist who reported on the daily life of people living in the region and the ongoing economic and security hardships they faced.

The IFJ calls on all its affiliates and union activists to send letters calling for the release of our colleague to the SDC at the following addresses: [email protected][email protected], with copies to the union: [email protected]

You can download the IFJ letter as a template 

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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