AFTER BEING TORTURED in a Syrian detention center, journalist and human rights activist Mazen Darwish was left for dead.
“When I opened my eyes, I found myself lying among dead bodies. I tried to move and one of the guards saw that I was still alive and dragged me back to my cell. Another officer might have left me there until I died, so it is just chance that I am here today,” he said.
Darwish founded the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression in 2004 and worked openly in Damascus despite what Human Rights Watch called the Syrian state’s “repression of human rights activism.” In February 2012, Syrian security forces arrested him and his colleagues at their office. He was released in August 2015, but some of his closest friends and colleagues died in detention and others remain “disappeared.”