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News | Syria

German Journalist Armin Wertz Released after Five Months of Detention
October 14, 2013
Source: Damascus - SKeyes

Syrian authorities released German journalist Armin Wertz on September 26, 2013, five months after his arrest in Aleppo on May 5.

Two days after his release, and upon his arrival to Berlin via Beirut, Wertz told the Tagesspiegel daily for which he works, that he arrived to Syria through Turkey. Forces affiliated with the Syrian Ministry of Interior arrested him in his Aleppo hotel room, and placed him under house arrest. However, during the first days of his detention, he remained in contact with his family and informed Reporters without Borders of his whereabouts.

Two months later, Wertz was placed in jail in solitary confinement under difficult conditions: he received only one bread and rice dish per day and water had a very unpleasant taste; not to mention the primitive state of the sanitary equipment in his cell. Wertz was not victim of physical abuse but he saw prison guards repeatedly beating other Syrian prisoners.

On the day of his release, Wertz was transferred to the Department of Immigration, and then taken to Beirut airport in a car belonging to the German services.

Wertz, who was born in 1945, worked as a correspondent for the Tagesspiegel daily in Indonesia. He headed to Syria to report on the battles between the Syrian army and the opposition forces for Asian newspapers.