RIO DE JANEIRO – The Syrian regime arrests Brazilian journalist, later released, who remains under police surveillance, according to information confirmed by the Foreign Ministry on Friday, reported Folha de São Paulo.
Syrian Regime Arrests Brazilian Journalist
A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said that the Syrians detained the journalist, but that he is now free, in a safe place under the watchful eye of Syrian authorities and is in good condition.
For security reasons, the Foreign Ministry did not release the name of the journalist or the media outlet for which he works.
The Foreign Ministry also said it is in contact with the Syrian regime working to get the journalist quickly out of Syria, and that disclosure of more information could harm the dialogue.
According to unofficial information from the embassy of Brazil in Syria, the journalist is Klester Cavalcanti, 42, who works for “Isto É Gente”.
Cavalcanti is the author of several books and won twice in 2005 and 2007, the Tortoise Award for Literature (Prêmio Jabuti de Literatura, Brasil).
Syrian Regime Arrests Brazilian Journalist in 2011
In November 2011, Brazilian journalist Germano Assad, 26, spent four days trapped in Damascus.
He went to Syria a few months before the beginning of the uprising against the regime of dictator Bashar Assad, with a student visa to take a course in Arabic. During his stay in Syria, Germano collaborated with Folha de São Paulo, sending reports without identifying himself, for security reasons.
His release came hours after Brazil’s ambassador in Damascus, Edgard Casciano, intercede on his behalf with the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At the time, Syrian authorities informed the ambassador to Brazil that Germano was being held for working as a journalist without authorization.
Germano said at the time that state security agents ripped him from a taxi near the apartment where he lived, in the old city of Damascus, as he prepared to flee the country.
He spent four days alone in a small cell where he could barely stand up, he said, and was subjected to lengthy interrogations, but suffered no physical violence.