As a headline from
Reporters Without Borders stated today, the number of citizen journalists killed or arrested in Syria rises daily. While some, such as Razan Ghazzawi, who won Frontline Defenders' award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk, have received ample international
attention for their plight, many others have gone largely ignored by the media.
There is a new campaign centered on blogger Hussein Ghrer, who was arrested along with other bloggers and colleagues, including Ghazzawi, in a raid on the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) in February and is still in prison.
The campaign, which is available in several languages, aims to draw attention to Ghrer's announcement of an indefinite hunger strike to demand his unconditional release. Ghrer's nearly five-month long detention exceeds the maximum legal limits for
incarceration without referral to court, which under Syrian law is 60 days.
Though the campaign is focused on Ghrer, Syrian blogger Yazan Badran wrote recently: Make no mistake, #FreeRazan, #FreeBassel or #FreeHussein, all mean the same thing: We want them back, we want them all. The target of these campaigns
is to raise awareness, as several bloggers who have been detained and then released from Syrian prisons have reported their belief that the media attention they received helped them to evade torture. Activists have created several campaign images
and are encouraging users on Twitter and Facebook to use them as avatars. They are also utilizing the Twitter hashtag #FreeHussein.