Beirut, Apr 19 – The prominent human rights activist, writer, and Syrian opposition leader Michel Kilo, who spent several years in jail for confronting the government of the Al Asad family, died this Monday of covid-19 in exile in France, opposition sources reported.
“A great loss for the march today of Professor Michel Kilo after catching the coronavirus, my condolences to the free Syrian people, his family and all his followers,” Nasr al Hariri, president of the Syrian National Coalition, wrote on his Twitter account. (CNFROS), the main opposition alliance outside the Arab country.
The head of the CNFROS, of which Kilo was a member, described him as a “great” “intellectual and patriotic” figure, and stressed that his dream was to make the Arab country “free and democratic”, a milestone for which he fought publicly and peacefully for two decades on various fronts.
Another opposition leader, George Sabra, former president of the CNFROS, also went to the social network to mourn the death of his “partner”, whose loss will be, in his words, “enormous and intense for the entire country”, which has been five decades in the hands of the Al Asad family.
Freelance writer, journalist, rights activist, and historic dissident, the multi-talented Kilo was born in the coastal province of Latakia in the early 1940s into a Christian minority family and became part of the Syrian opposition scene after the death of Hafez al Asad, in 2000.
Kilo was for a time a representative of the so-called internal opposition, that tolerated within Syria, and was also one of the founders of the National Coordinator for Democratic Change, while in 2005 he adhered to the Damascus Declaration for Democratic National Change.
Two years after the outbreak of the Syrian revolution a decade ago, the dissident founded in Cairo a new party initially called the Syrian Democratic Pole with the aim of establishing a broad and united alliance against the Syrian government.