International press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders (RWB) on Friday deplored the Syrian judiciary's treatment of renowned journalist and activist Mazen Darwish, who has been detained without a verdict since February 2012, along with several colleagues.
The Syrian courts again postponed a verdict November 5 against Darwish, who was arrested on charges of "publicising terrorist acts" when he was head of the "Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression" in 2012.
Darwish, the recipient of RWB's Press Freedom Prize in 2012, was arrested along with two colleagues, Hani Al-Zaiyati and Hussain Hurrier, and 12 other staff members from the Media Centre, RWB recalled in a statement.
Since then, the Syrian courts have regularly postponed judgment in the case.
"These adjournments illustrate the dire state of freedom of information in Syria," Reporters without borders said.
"The case of Mazen Darwish is symbolic of the many journalists, (internet) bloggers and activists still held in Syrian jails merely for lawfully doing their jobs." RWB and 78 other organizations have already called for the immediate and unconditional release of Darwish and his colleagues in a joint appeal to the Syrian authorities on 5 September last.
Some 20 civil society activists, human rights campaigners, journalists and aid workers are still arbitrarily held in detention in Syria, months after a general amnesty was declared in June, RWB remarked.
Syria remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. It is ranked 177th of 180 countries in the 2014 "World Press Freedom index" compiled by Reporters Without Borders.