For many Syrian dissidents who have left the country out of necessity or desperation, it is quite inconceivable that there remain many anti-regime activists living in Damascus. Some of them have given up political, revolutionary and civil activity, while others are still trying to play a role. There are those who have opted to work publicly within organizations that are not banned or persecuted, and those who are still working in secret despite the grave risks that entails. Here they explain their reasons for staying in the capital.
Perhaps the most dangerous thing about Bassel was that he could think as the regime thought, and could see reality the way it saw it.
Such were the daily happenings in our work at the Courthouse for over three years, until the end of 2013. Then the security branches stopped transferring detainees to the Courthouse, all cases started being referred directly to the Counterterrorism Court, which was given the authority to decide if the offense falls within its mandate or not, instead of letting normal courts determine that.
The death of my father was the catalyst for our leaving Syria with no return, a country plagued by revolution and war that has given us nothing but pain and sorrow. I began to save up the amount needed to make the journey by sea or perhaps to get a visa to Russia and then smuggle myself to Norway, where I would repeat the story of my father’s arrest and torture.