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Syrian security forces arrest reporter Rabea Kalawandi
July 17, 2019
Source: Committee to Protect Journalists

On July 7, 2019 in Aleppo, Syrian security forces arrested Syrian journalist Rabea Kalawandi, a reporter for Iranian state-run broadcaster Al-Alam TV without publicly stating a reason for his arrest, according to a report by pro-regime news website Snack Syrian. Kalawandi's family has been unable to contact him or arrange a lawyer for his defense, according to that report.

Snack Syrian and other reports do not specify where Kalawandi was in Aleppo or what he was doing at the time of his arrest.

The Syrian government has been supportive of Al-Alam TV in the past, granting the outlet an interview with President Bashar al-Assad in 2018.

Kalawandi has a substantial following on social media, where he posts pro-Assad updates about the Syrian civil war and his Al-Alam reports on his Facebook and YouTube accounts. In 2016, while embedded with the Syrian Army in Aleppo, he posted a video to his personal YouTube mocking pro-opposition graffiti in the city, which was covered by local media.