At the Committee to Protect Bloggers, we have occasionally been contacted by people who knew they were going to have to go in for interrogation and possible arrest. One of them was the Syrian poet and novelist, Ammar Abdulhamid, who has since left Syria to take up a position in Washington, D.C. as a non-resident fellow at the Saban Institute of the Brookings Institution.
“In times of trouble, activists and their families are often told to shy away from publicizing their ordeal,” said Abdulhamid. “They are advised that this is indeed the best way to make it short and to navigate back to safety. In my case, however, international attention eased my way to freedom. Without it, I might not even be alive today. Still, there are no hard-fast rules here, and the best thing that international supporters and sympathizers can do is to follow the wishes of the (effected person), when they can be reached, or the wishes of their family members and/or friends.“