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The Battle of Preserving Liberty: In Conversation with Mazen Darwish

Mazen Darwish is a Syrian Human Rights lawyer, freedom of expression activist and the president of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression. He was arrested in 2012 by the intelligence forces in Syria along with fifteen other journalists, one of whom was his wife Yara Bader. During his imprisonment he was subject to a forced disappearance and his whereabouts were unknown. Following his release and escape from Syria, Mazen has continued to advocate for freedom of expression in Syria by representing the victims of the Syrian Revolution and giving them a chance at justice.

CJLPA: Good afternoon, Mr Darwish. It’s an honour to have an opportunity to interview you for The Cambridge Journal of Law, Politics, and Art. Throughout the last few decades you have been an inspiring figure, defending the human rights of all Syrians around the world. Much of your work has revolved around protecting freedom of expression for Syrians. What was your motivation to start practising in human rights knowing that the Syrian regime is quite oppressive when it comes to freedom of expression?


Mazen Darwish: Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure and honour to be with you. First of all, I want to start with my family, because both my father and my mother were detained and disappeared. This is something I was born into; seeing this situation and how it affected the families and all the civilians in Syria. For me, freedom of expression is a basic right that any society needs to have to build a democracy and all other freedoms. It’s an essential right, especially in a regime like the one in Syria, where a lot of people are detained and are suffering for expressing their opinion.

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