Syria: Norwegian-Tunisian arrested

Brahim Belkilani (44) was on his way to vacation in Syria when he was arrested in the Damascus airport Friday night. He had been arrested together with his family, but his wife and children had been freed since.

His friends in Norway are very concerned. Basim Ghozlan, head of the Islamic Association, told TV2 that they know he was arrested in Syria and that he's apparently wanted by the Tunisian authorities.

Belkilani managed to send an SMS saying he was arrested. He's a Norwegian citizen, but was politically active in homeland of Tunisia. He had come to Norway as an asylum seeker in 2000.

Ghozlan explains that Tunisia has been after many people who worked as political activists.

Belkilani has been working as a language teacher in Bærum, and has been in the leadership of the Islamic Association since 2005.

In a press release Ghozlan says that they fear for his health and that he'll be deported to Tunisia, where he'll be tortured.

The Foreign Ministry confirms that a Norwegian citizen had been arrested in Syria, and the Norwegian embassy will be looking into the case.

Sources: Aftenposten, Nettavisen (Norwegian)

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