المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

“SOHR” calls upon the Malaysian authorities not to deport the Syrian journalist “Kousa” to the Syrian regime

Over the past two days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has monitored reports about the arrest of the Syrian journalist and civil and human rights activist Himbervan Kousa, who is descended from Al-Qamishly city. SOHR followed these reports with great concern, as the Syrian human rights activist would face a real risk to his life, in the case that the Malaysian authorities which arrested him decided to deport him and turn him to the Syrian regime authorities.

Since the popular protests in Syria flared up, “Kousa” contributed in covering the anti-regime demonstrations, he also worked as a correspondent for a number of Arabic and international agencies, in addition to his work with a number of local media outlets. “Kousa” is known for his opposition to Al-Assad’s government and the Turkish-backed factions, in also contributed in unveiling reprehensible practices and violations by the conflicting parties in the Syrian war against citizens. The threats that chased him and put his life at risk forced him to leave Syria in 2017, where he headed to “Erbil” in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, there, he worked as a correspondent for the Emirati news website of Bawabat Al-Ain, and as a contributing author in the column of opinions in the same website, as well as his contributions over more than 2 years in the Lebanese “Daraj” website and his contributions in “Fikra” Forum that is supported by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He also regularly wrote for the US-based Al-Monitor that is available in several languages including Arabic, English and Turkish, in addition to his work in several other media outlets. Beside his work in the press, he contributed in establishing “Dar” foundation which is a cultural foundation which printed books for a number of Syrian Kurdish authors for free.

Last Saturday, all connections with “Kousa” were cut off, after his relatives and friends were informed that he was held in Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, which threatens his safety, as his life will be definitely in great danger, if he is deported back to Syria, as the regime authorities will arrest him just after arriving in Damascus International Airport, in the case of deportation back to Syria.

We, in the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, appeal to the Malaysian authorities to reconsider the case of “Kousa”, and to realize the threats that may put his life at risk, in the case of being deported to Syria. He mainly left Syria fleeing the threats of killing and liquidation he received via his social media accounts, he is also wanted for conscription in the ranks of Al-Assad’s regime forces, especially since he refuses to participate in any military operations. SOHR calls upon the Malaysian authorities not to hand over “Kousa” to the Syrian regime, and if they want to deport him, since it is better to be deported to a third country, in order to protect his life from the threats against him.

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