Anti-As­sad Syr­ian film­maker stabbed in Is­tan­bul

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - National -

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.

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