UPDATE (February 22):
Rami Jarrah has been freed. He says he still does not know on what grounds he was arrested. Here is the message he posted on Facebook following his release:
ORIGINAL ARTICLE (published February 19):
Rami Jarrah, a Syrian activist and journalist who has collaborated with the France 24 Observers for years, was arrested in Turkey on February 17 on unknown charges. His friends and family have not been able to talk to him nor locate him.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, he was detained by immigration authorities after attempting to apply for a residency permit in the border city of Gaziantep. While the reasons for his detention are unclear, he was reportedly questioned about his journalism work. He was briefly kept at a migrant detention centre being transferred to an unknown location Thursday. According to an anonymous journalist cited by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Jarrah was able to retain a lawyer, and has not been officially charged with anything.
When the Syrian conflict broke out in 2011, Rami Jarrah became one of them most prominent citizen journalists keeping foreign media abreast of the developments, thanks to his perfect English. At the time, he went by the pseudonym “Alexander Page”. He fled the country at the end of 2011, first moving to Egypt, then Turkey. But he never stopped reporting on Syria: he founded a citizen media project, ANA Press, with a group of Syrian friends, and took regular trips back into his country to report on the situation.
He recently spent time in Aleppo, where he filmed several reports on Russian air raids. His reporting was featured in the Observers TV show.
Jarrah, whose work has also been featured on NPR, on CNN, and in the New York Times, is one of the very few Syrians still able to carry out independent reporting in his home country. Most Syrians covering the conflict from the inside are now either members of armed groups or are aligned with them.
Here are a few of the Observers article that Rami participated in (reverse chronological order):
Syrian rebels satirise IS group propaganda
Eyewitness: ‘No IS group in Aleppo, so who is Russia bombing?’
Rifts emerge as Syrian National Council contemplates military options
Cracks emerge in Syrian opposition amid ongoing anti-government protests
After fleeing Syria, @AlexanderPageSY fights on from Egypt