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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Syrian journalist Ibrahim Awad arrested, held in refugee camp in Jordan

News | Syria and Jordan
Monday , 22 November 2021

On November 15, 2021, four Jordanian police and intelligence officers raided Syrian freelance journalist Ibrahim Awad’s home in the Tla al-Ali neighborhood of Amman, the capital, where they seized his laptop, two cell phones, and an iPad, and took him into custody, according to news reports and the journalist, currently held at the Azraq refugee camp.

The officers first detained Awad at the headquarters of the General Intelligence Directorate, where he was tested for COVID-19 and held for about two hours; he was then moved to the city’s Security Directorate office, where officers took his fingerprints, he said.

Authorities then transferred Awad to a Security Directorate office in Zarqa, about 50 miles outside of Amman, and at about 4 a.m. on November 17 they brought him to the refugee camp in central-eastern Jordan, he told CPJ. He was being held in the camp’s quarantine area awaiting results from a COVID-19 test at the time he communicated with CPJ.

Awad told CPJ that his transfer document says he is banned from leaving the camp, and that authorities have not disclosed any reason for his arrest or any charges against him.


The Azraq camp is managed jointly by the U.N. High Commission for Refugees and the Jordanian government-operated Syria Refugee Affairs Directorate, and hosts over 38,000 Syrian refugees, according to the UNHCR.

Awad told CPJ that the officers who raided his home produced a search warrant issued by the State Security Court, but did not inform him of the reasons for his arrest. He said he identified himself as a journalist during the raid and his detention. He has lived in Jordan for several years, and has a wife and children in Amman, according to reports.

Awad is a freelance journalist who contributes to outlets including the news websites Qasioun and The Levant News, and has presented commentary on the broadcasters Al-Jazeera and Syria TV. He frequently covers human rights and conflict in Syria, and recently covered arrests by Syrian intelligence agents and attacks on Syrian-Russian joint patrols.

He also posts news and commentary on his personal Twitter account, where he has about 1,500 followers, and his coverage has included discussion of Syrian government-affiliated forces’ alleged human rights abuses.

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