Syrian filmmaker and activist Mohammed Bayazid has been stabbed in Istanbul in a suspected assassination attempt.
Bayazid, who has previously been arrested and tortured by the Assad regime in Syria, was stabbed in the chest according to close friends, and remains in intensive care. The news was confirmed by his wife on Facebook.
Suspicions of the attack being an assassination attempt were aroused when it emerged that Bayazid was meeting prospective financial benefactors for his upcoming film, “The Tunnel”, which will detail torture of opposition activists in Tadmor prison in Homs.
“Muhammad was lured into an elaborate trap by ‘benefactors’ who expressed keen interest in discussing ‘funding’ for his new film on Tadmor prison. This makes the Assad regime a prime suspect,” wrote friend Mohammed Ghanem on Facebook.
Tadmor prison has long been identified as one of the worst prisons in the world, where political opponents have been imprisoned and abused for decades. In 1996 Human Rights Watch called the prison “a facility infamous throughout Syria for the extremely brutal abuses that have occurred there”.
Although it was shut down in 2001 it was reopened 10 years later in order to facilitate the torture of anti-government protesters during the Arab Spring.
Bayazid is not the first Syrian activist to be targeted in Turkey. Last month prominent opposition activist, 60-year-old Dr Orouba Barakat and her 22-year-old journalist daughter Halla, were found murdered in Turkey allegedly by members of Assad’s security forces.