Writer and journalist Michel Kilo, 67, is an emblematic figure in the struggle for democracy in Syria. In his articles for Arab newspapers such as An-Nahar, Al-Hayat, As-Safir and Al Quds Al Arabi, he is well known for his acerbic political analyses.
He was arrested on 14 May 2006 for signing a joint statement by intellectuals from Syria and Lebanon called “Beirut-Damascus, Damascus-Beirut,” which called for a change in the relations between the two countries. The authorities described it as “meddling in the internal affairs” of Syria, and as a “provocation.”
Accused of inciting “religious and racial divisions,” publishing “mendacious and exaggerated reports with the aim of discrediting the government,” defaming “the president and the courts” and “inciting civil rebellion,” he faces a possible life sentence. He is now in Adra prison on the outskirts of Damascus after being held at an undisclosed location for several months, during which he was unable to see his family or his lawyers.
Varios Foros, Almeria Press Club, City of Calafell