Darwish Mazen (Syria)
The Syrian journalist and human rights activist Mazen Darwish founded the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) in 2004. Together with other activists, he reported on the infringements of the right to freedom of expression and the situation of political detainees in Syria. He fought for a reform of the Press Law and drew international attention to the disappearance of bloggers and journalists. From the very start of the protest movement in Syria, he was one of the major sources of information for foreign media. His commitment to this cause led to repeated conflicts with the Syrian regime. Since 2007, he has been banned from travelling and arrested several times. In February 2012, the premises of the SCM were searched by the Syrian Secret Service and 16 staff members arrested, among them Mazen Darwish. He is still in prison today. Reporters without Frontiers elected him as journalist of the year 2012.