Syrian activists and local media have launched a renewed campaign to release Dr Mahmoud Al Sayeh who is currently being held in prisons operated by the Hamza Division – a Syrian rebel group affiliated with the Free Syrian Army – in the surrounding areas of the Euphrates Shield in the countryside of Aleppo.
Activists launched a campaign on social media under the hashtag “#The_Freedom_of_Doctor_Mahmoud_AlSayeh”, calling for the release of the doctor and denouncing the activities of the Hamza Division, who they accuse of imprisoning him.
The Syrian journalist Moussa al-Omar stated via the hashtag that “Freedom of the doctor Mahmoud Al Sayeh from the prisons of the Hamza Division on charges of harming Turkey have not been read on Twitter. They [the Hamza Division] called upon the doctor and invited him to visit the grave of all his children who were martyred at Eid."
Converesly, writer and researcher Khalil al-Miqdad questioned: “Where is Dr Al Sayeh? And where is the father of martyrs, gang of bandits, mercenaries and traitors? Does criticisng the policy of a head of state regarding the revolution in Syria result in one’s absence for months? Or is it a way of filtering [his] opinion? Is every critic a terrorist? [I call] for the freedom of Dr Mahmoud Al Sayeh and shame and disgrace upon his kidnappers.”
Another journalist and activist, Abu Abada Al Shami, wrote: “Dr Mahmoud Al Sayeh left medicine to join the revolution with all his will and dedication to the cause, [and] with his knowledge and intellectual leadership to bring. The Hamza Division have arrested him in the northern countryside of Aleppo on false charges…. These kidnappers do not differ from Shabiha, the pro-Baathist armed militias purportedly led by the Assad regime.
An additional online activist accused the Hamza Division of being responsible for the disappearance of Mahmoud Al Sayeh, noting that the group has thus far failed to discuss his disappearance or the reasons behind his arrest, claiming that he [Mahmoud] “has lost 14 members of his family, including his wife and his children, because of strikes conducted by Russian planes and crimes committed by the Shabiha.” He emphasized that those responsible for Mahmoud’s arrest “must be held accountable.”.
Security elements within the Hamza Division reportedly arrested Dr Mahmoud Al Sayeh at his home in the city of Al Bab on 27 April because of his criticism of the group’s actions and the Turkish government, claim activists within the region.
Al Sayeh is from Al Bab, north of Aleppo. He fled from the area after the Islamic State took control of Aleppo and moved to Idlib, and subsequently loss 14 members of his family – including his wife and seven children. He then returned to live in his hometown.
Translated By: Anastasia Pr