Anti-Assad Syrian filmmaker stabbed in Istanbul
A SYRIAN filmmaker close to the opposition who made a film about a notorious regime prison was stabbed by an unknown assailant in Istanbul, supporters and Syrian groups said yesterday.
Muhammad Bayazid was stabbed on Tuesday while on his way to a meeting, according to an account posted on the filmmaker’s official Facebook page by a friend who witnessed the attack. According to his page, Bayazid was scheduled to give a speech at an event on Tuesday at Marmara University in the Üsküdar district where he was to discuss his latest film.
His wife Samah Safi Bayazid, who is also a filmmaker, confirmed the attack, describing it on her Facebook page as an “assassination attempt.” Releasing a statement yesterday, Samah Safi said her “hero” was “getting better,” sharing a photo of the filmmaker in his hospital bed. She asked for “prayers.”
Ahmad Ramadan, an official with the Syrian opposition in Istanbul, said Bayazid had produced a film about torture in a notorious Syrian prison. He also described the attack as an assassination attempt.
Syrian opposition activists and journalists based in Turkey have repeatedly complained of threats to their security.
Orouba Barakat, a veteran Syrian opposition activist and her journalist daughter were found stabbed to death at their apartment in Istanbul in September. However, a relative was later arrested on suspicion of the murders.
Supporters wrote on social media that Bayazid was working on a film about the notorious Tadmor prison in central Syria outside the ancient city of Palmyra.
It was there that hundreds of prisoners were massacred in 1980 under the presidency of Hafez Assad, the late father of current President Bashar Assad.
Bayazid’s upcoming film, “The Tunnel,” is based on the true story of a Syrian-American man who was unjustly imprisoned in Tadmor, its promoters said. Its first showing in Turkey was last weekend.