Syrian authorities on Sunday accused an Egyptian with US citizenship of spying for Israel. Though he was not mentioned by name, international news reports named him as Mohamed Radwan, a blogger who has worked for Al-Masry Al-Youm in the past.
Syrian state-run television broadcast a televised "confession" and said the accused, who works in Syria, confessed to accepting offers of money from abroad for photos and videos of Syria. He apparently said he visited Israel via Jordan, went to Jerusalem and then back to Syria.
According to the report, he said he was chosen for the work because he is based in Syria and has a mobile phone equipped with a camera. It said he transfered data to a Spanish-speaking Colombian via e-mail, and to another person in Cairo. According to an alleged agreement with the Colombian, each photo cost LE 100 but a video price was not decided.
The report has been dismissed as false by Radwan's family.
Many activists and Facebook users in Egypt are trying to make people aware of his arrest. Radwan participated in and helped publicise the protests of Egypt's 25 January Revolution, which toppled former president Hosni Mubarak on February 11.
Deraa in Syria has been swept by an unprecedented wave of protests since 18 March which led to clashes with security police, amid media blackout imposed by authorities in the city. Protests have spread to neighboring cities, despite increased deployment of army and riot police.
At least 100 citizens have been killed so far during protests, according to activists, although the number is estimated at 55 by Amnesty International.