Syrian poet and journalist Faraj Ahmad Bayrakdar was arrested on 31 March 1987 by the Military Intelligence on suspicion of membership of the Party for Communist Action. He was held incommunicado for almost seven years and suffered torture whilst in detention. He was brought before Supreme State Security Court in 1993 and sentenced to 15 years in prison on 17 October 1993.
Bayraqdar has published two collections of poems, You Are Not Alone (1979) and A New Dance at the Court of the Heart (1981). He is a winner of the Hellman/Hammett award 1998 and the 1999 American PEN Freedom-to-Write award.
Faraj Bayraqdar was released on 16 November 2000. Under an amnesty granted by the President, Faraj Bayraqdar, a forty-nine year old poet and journalist, left jail fourteen months before the end of his 15-year sentence without obligation to renounce his political activities.
To read a statement by Faraj Bayraqdar made at a press conference on 28 November 2000 click here
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/writersinexile/farajbayrakdar/