Syrian regime arrests Swedish journalist in Qamishli

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The Swedish journalist (R) with a Kurdish female fighter in northern Syria. File photo

ARA News

Qamishli, Syria – The Syrian regime’s security forces arrested the Swedish journalist Joachim Medellin in the city of Qamishli (Qamishlo), in northeastern Syria, locals reported on Saturday. 

The Swedish journalist was arrested last Sunday along with the Kurdish interpreter and member of the Free Media Union (FMU), Omar Sabri, during a media mission in the city. 

The Free Media Union is linked to the Democratic Union Party “PYD”, the most influential Kurdish party in the region.

Local activists from the city of Qamishli told ARA News that the Swedish journalist and the interpreter were arrested at a checkpoint belonging to the Syrian regime’s branch of the State Security Forces in the city, while they were accidentally passing by the checkpoint.

The PYD-linked FMU issued a statement Saturday, of which ARA News received a copy, demanding the international and regional human rights and press organizations put pressure on the Syrian regime in order to release the Swedish journalist and the Kurdish member of FMU. 

Commenting on the incident, Kurdish journalist Sardar Mullah Darwish told ARA News that any action violating the rights of journalists is unacceptable, but the regime is accustomed to hiding the truth since the start of the anti-Assad uprising in 2011.

“The journalist’s arrest is a clear message by the Assad regime to the western powers, saying ‘Do not send journalists to any area of Syria’,” Darwish said. “This is the regime’s message to the western powers which will demand his release.”

“If the journalist was a Syrian citizen, the regime would never hesitate to torture and even kill him,” he argued. 

He pointed out that no additional information is provided about the detention center where the Swedish journalist is being held.

Noteworthy, Joachim Medellin is a Swedish journalist who published numerous press articles and reports on the situation in the Kurdish areas, and has visited several cities of the province of Hasakah as well as Kobane. 

 

Reporting by: Dilshad Muhammad

Source: ARA News

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