Great News! Kalam Soloum released on Bail!

Kamal Saloum was released on bail on 26 March. He had been arrested on 11 February 2012 and held incommunicado since then. He is now on trial on charges related to his contacts with international media outlets and speaking out against the Al-Assad government.

Kamal Saloum went missing on his way home from work in the southern town of al-Suwayda, on 11 February 2012. He had given an interview to the international media network Al Jazeera on 7 February because his house had been raided by the security forces following a demonstration and it appears that this may be why he was arrested.

According to a contact, Kamal Saloum was brought before a judge before he was released and was accused of offenses that arose from contacting international media and speaking out against the Syrian authorities. It is not known when his next court session will be held.

While his family was at first told that Kamal Saloum had been arrested and detained by members of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence in al-Suwayda, a contact in Syria told Amnesty International that Kamal Saloum spent most of the time he was detained at a branch of the Military Intelligence in the capital, Damascus. The same contact informed Amnesty International that Kamal Saloum had regularly been severely beaten with a variety of objects, insulted and held in a small room that was so overcrowded that those inside it could not sleep properly.

Kamal Saloum suffers from heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure but did not receive any medication for this. Amnesty International was told that when he asked for medication, he was denied it and insulted. Kamal Saloum appears to have lost a significant amount of weight since his arrest.