I first came across the name Michel Kilo on Tanenbaum Peacemaker Hind Kabawat’s website. I was doing research in preparation for a series of interviews with Hind for her Peacemaker in Action case study.
Kilo is a Syrian journalist and pro-democracy activist. In prison since May 2006, he was released ten days ago. His three year sentence was for “weakening national sentiment and encouraging sectarian strife.” This charge was related to articles that he wrote in favor of normalizing Lebanese-Syrian relations, before this was a popular idea with the Syrian government.
While Kilo was in prison, Syria and Lebanon established diplomatic relations and exchanged ambassadors. It often seems that good ideas are adopted slowly – with their advocates marginalized or silenced in the meantime.
Kilo is a Syrian patriot, proud of and dedicated to his country. His release and the promise of his continued work for freedom of expression are wonderful news for his friends and family – and for his nation.