“There will come a day when no group, government or regime will be able to have a monopoly on the truth, hide the truth, or obscure even a single aspect of the truth, even in times of iron walls, one-sided ideologies and closed societies” Mazen Darwish.
Mazen Darwish is a prominent Damascene lawyer and journalist. Born to a family of activists, Mazen was introduced to the Assad regime’s repressive practices at a young age with the detention and persecution of both his parents.
In his adult years, Mazen became president of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCMFE), established in 2004. The organization works to protect and promote freedom of expression and belief, independent media and human rights. SCMFE has been at the forefront of the Syrian cultural and societal scene with efforts focused on protecting and advancing uncensored journalism, educational initiatives, youth development and campaigning for release of detainees held by the regime. In 2006 the group founded the Voice Newspaper and Syriaview.net. Banned by the regime, they were uniquely independent outlets in an environment in which media is heavily censored and controlled. With the onset of the revolution the SCMFE moved to cover protests, and the brutal crackdown inflicted by security services.
In February 2012, Mazen was imprisoned by the Air Force Intelligence along with thirteen of his colleagues, and falsely accused of ‘publicizing terrorist acts’. Following high profile campaigns led by his wife, Yara Bader, a journalist and co-director of SCMFE, Mazen was released from detention following three and a half years of being held in inhuman conditions and being subjected to torture.
Mazen currently resides in Berlin and remains engaged in the fight to achieve human rights and justice back home. He has been involved in the current historic trials being held in Germany in which former officials of the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate are being prosecuted for crimes against humanity including torture and sexual assault.