Veteran Syria opposition determine Michel Kilo dies of COVID-19

PARIS (AP) — Michel Kilo, an exiled veteran Syrian opposition determine, died Monday of problems from COVID-19 in a hospital in Paris the place he lived, household and pals mentioned. He was 81.

Kilo frolicked in jail throughout the rule of late Syrian President Hafez Assad within the early 1980s and extra just lately from 2006-2009 below his son, present President Bashar Assad.

Previously a member of the Communist Social gathering, Kilo frolicked in each Damascus and France, the place he later settled. He was born in Syria’s coastal Latakia province in 1940.

Kilo’s daughter Shada mentioned he died Monday in a Paris hospital. She mentioned he had been in steady situation however then relapsed and needed to be intubated. She mentioned she had not been in a position to discuss to him for the final 10 days.

“My father was an incredible dad. I’ll miss every thing about him. He was very current in our life and that of his grand youngsters,” she advised The Related Press. “He’s an enormous loss for Syria. He was the tolerant reasonable thoughts, forgiving, loving. He was revered even by his enemies.”


A reform seeker, Kilo was a key determine in drafting and gaining assist for what was often known as the Damascus Declaration in 2005. It referred to as for the gradual transition from one-party rule towards multiparty democracy in Syria. A yr later, he was additionally one of many important signatories of the Damascus-Beirut Declaration, calling for Syria to acknowledge Lebanon’s independence. That declaration was one of many important causes for his arrest and sentencing to 3 years in jail in 2006.

Kilo was a robust supporter of protests that erupted towards Assad’s authorities in 2011 and was amongst main figures who labored to develop a political framework for the opposition motion. The protests descended into civil conflict.

Kilo left Syria for France for good in the summertime of 2011 and labored with different opposition figures to kind a political umbrella group. He was a vocal critic of the armed opposition inside Syria.


Burhan Ghalioun, a Syrian-French professor of sociology and a distinguished opposition member, referred to as Kilo a “historic determine.”

“It’s an enormous loss for the democratic and freedoms motion in Syria but additionally the Arab world. He was one of the vital essential pillars of the Syrian opposition,” he mentioned.

“He’s a historic opposition determine, an essential mental, thinker,” Ghalioun added. He withstood all of the strain and resisted oppression all alongside.”

Kilo, a Christian, is survived by his spouse, Wadia, his daughter Shadia and two sons. All of them stay in France.


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