Georges Moubayed, a jeweller aged 62, was abducted after leaving his house in the Jaramana district of the Syrian capital Damascus on 10 January 2012. It was not known where he was being held, and on 12 January, his family received a phone-call in which he said he had been shot in the leg. The abductors demanded a ransom of 30 million Syrian Lira (about $500,000) for his release. He was released at the end of January 2012. There is currently no other information regarding the conditions surrounding his detention or release.
Thousands of pro-reform activists have been detained since March 2011 by the security forces and members of pro-government shabiha gangs. Torture and other ill-treatment have been, and remains, widespread, and more than 270 people are reported to have died in custody.