Syrian Journalist Freed from Jail, Complains of Travel Ban
The Syrian journalist and human rights activist Nizar Nayyouf has finally been released, months before his ten-year sentence ends. But Nayyouf protested Thursday that the authorities have banned him from traveling outside the country for cancer treatment.
Talking to Al Jazeera satellite channel, he said that he is still under probation.
Nayyouf, 39, was being treated in Tishreen hospital where he went into frequent comas, according to a press release by the Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC), quoting his family. The journalist was one of the few political prisoners remaining in the Syrian jails after hundreds were released following an amnesty issued by President Bashar Assad.
The SHRC insisted that there is no need for the probation, and called for the release of other political activists still behind bars.
The group also demanded that Nayyouf, who was imprisoned against the backdrop of his human rights activities, regain his civil rights of which he was stripped off after he was convicted of belonging to an illegal organization in January 1991.
In the statement, received by Albawaba.com, the committee demanded that in case of any future arrests, detainees should be guaranteed the right to a lawyer and should be able to communicate with their families.
The activist was reported released in April 2000, but the committee discovered he was only moved to Mazza prison, which was later closed down and turned into a museum.
While in jail, the he was awarded a UNESCO prize for press freedom.
According to SHRC, Nayyouf was then offered freedom by the authorities on the condition that he rejected the $25,000 award – Albawaba.com