A Syrian filmmaker close to the opposition who made a film about a notorious regime prison has been stabbed by an unknown assailant in Istanbul, supporters and Syrian groups said on Wednesday. Muhammad Bayazid was stabbed on Tuesday while on his way to a meeting, according to an account posted on the filmmaker’s official Facebook page by a friend who witnessed the attack.
His wife Samah Safi Bayazid, who is also a filmmaker, confirmed the attack, describing it on her Facebook page as an “assassination attempt”. He was taken to hospital but his condition was not immediately clear.
Ahmad Ramadan, an official with the Syrian opposition in Istanbul, said Bayazid had produced a film about torture in a notorious Syrian prison. He also described the attack as an “assassination attempt”.
Syrian opposition activists and journalists based in Turkey have repeatedly complained of threats to their security.
A veteran Syrian opposition activist and her journalist daughter were found stabbed to death at their apartment in Istanbul in September. However, a relative was later arrested on suspicion of the murder.
Supporters wrote on social media that Bayazid was working on a film about the notorious Tadmor prison in central Syria outside the ancient city of Palmyra. It was there that hundreds of prisoners were massacred in 1980 under the presidency of Hafez al-Assad, the late father of current President Bashar al-Assad.
Bayazid’s upcoming film “The Tunnel” is based on the “true story” of a Syrian-American man who is unjustly imprisoned in Tadmor, its promoters said. Its first showing in Turkey was at the weekend.