Sunday, 10 January 2016

Qaeda in Syria abducts prominent media activists

 ' "Al-Nusra Front kidnapped at 0655 (0455 GMT) activists Hadi al-Abdallah and Raed Fares in the offices of Fresh FM where they work and live in Kafranbel," said Soner Taleb, head of media at the Syrian National Coalition.

 According to a statement published by Fresh FM, Al-Nusra fighters stormed the radio station and confiscated its broadcasting and technical equipment as well as its electricity generators. "The Al-Nusra members then gathered all of the revolution flags and burned them in front of everyone," the statement said. The flag featuring three red stars over a green, white and black tricolour, in use before President Bashar al-Assad's father and predecessor came to power, is the symbol of Syria's uprising.

 "Raed is the founder of Fresh FM, and he's an amazing person," said activist Ibrahim al-Idlibi, "He did not take up arms at all, not even for personal use... he always came up with new ideas, always strived to be better."

 According to Fresh FM employee Ahmad Buyush, Fares, 41, was a medical student when popular anti-regime protests began across Syria in March 2011. "Raed is the revolution, in all meanings of the word."

 Abdallah shot to prominence in 2011 when anti-regime protests erupted across Syria, before the country's descent into civil war. Last year he was one of four journalists who interviewed Al-Nusra's head, Abu Mohammad al-Jolani.

 Al-Nusra did not specify why they arrested Fares and Abdallah, but Buyush suspects it could be a show of force in Kafranbel, which has been in rebel hands since 2012. "I see that the reason is to sabotage and terrorise. They've begun to take control and impose their word, and they began with us," Buyush said.'


Translation of Hadi Abdullah's testimony of the events of today:
"I don't know where to start...
This morning officers from Jabhat al Nusra raided our Media Office in the city of Kafranbel, along with the Radio Fresh headquarters and the headquarters of the Union of Revolutionary Bureaus offices near ours.
The accusations:
*A Facebook post¹ by Raed Fares, the director of the Union of Revolutionary Bureaus in Idlib, that contained something prohibited by Shariah..
*Airing songs with music on the radio
They pulled out all the closed doors.
They raided the headquarters, walked all over our things, and confiscated all our electronics: the radio transmitters, laptops, cell phones, satellite internet, all our cameras, including the beloved martyr Trad AlZahrawi's camera.
I told them that these tools and electronics are mine, they answered me
"Then, we will give them back to you."
I asked them to just give me back Trad's camera, but they refused and went on with the raid.
They took all the electronics as well as some furniture!
They kept pulling the doors out of their frames in the Union of Revolutionary Bureaus, that belong to us!!
They confiscated all the computers, files, and some books..
One of the revolution flags we had raised in a protest yesterday was near a door inside, they threw it on the floor of the headquarters near the front door, so that anyone walking in or out would have to walk on it, they stepped on it with their feet several times!!
A small revolution flag that was on my desk, they stepped on it too..
After that they wrote on the Radio Fresh building, the media offices, and two small rooms on the roof of the office (that I had built when I first got to the north), they wrote: "Confiscated by Jabhat al Nusra, Do Not Approach"
For an hour and a half we were detained inside the office, not allowing any of us to leave.
They then took media activist Raed Fares to an unknown location because of the accusations mentioned above..
After long discussions with the leaders and legislators of Al Nusra all day,
we conceded to the "mistake by Shariah" that Raed had written and provided guarantees that it would not happen again!
Jabhat al Nusra acknowledged its mistake in raiding, and said it would take care to resolve the issue, promising that it would return all confiscated materials, and provided guarantees that it would not happen again, and released Raed.
I thank with all my heart those who asked about me and were worried, with you our revolution continues brothers and sisters.
There is more to talk about, but right now I'm very very very tired!
I hope you wake up to good news, victory, and freedom."
¹يا أمة إقرأ
طالما أن الدكتوراه التي نحوزها تنحصر في “الحيض والنكاح” وأن جل اهتمامنا ينصب حين نتمكن على مابين شفتي الرجل”السكارة” وبين فخذي المرأة وطالما أننا نهتم بما تلبس المرأة أكثر من ما يجب أن تتعلم ونسوق الناس إلى الصلاة سوق القطيع , ونتخم المدارس بالكتب الشرعية.. فأبشروا بألف سنة أخرى.. نقتل في بورما وشرق الصين وفي مضايا وسوريا وسائر المشرق.. ودأبنا سيبقى معايرة معايير الأمم الأخرى وإنسانيتها
الحق بقوته, والقوة بالعلم, والعلم حق
"As long as the doctorates held by few are limited to 'menstruation and sex,' as long as most of our attention is fixated on what is between the lips of a man (cigarettes) or between the thighs of women, and as long as we care about what women wear more than education, and as long as we herd people to prayers like sheep, and as long as we are forcing Sharia books upon schools... Then I am happy to inform you that we have ahead of us 1000 more years of war... from Burma and East China to Madaya and Syria and all the East. We have and always will judge the morals and humanity of other nations.
Truth has power, and education is power, & education is a right."

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