Michel Kilo, an independent writer and secular Marxist, is one of the founders of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change and the Syrian Democratic Platform.
Kilo emerged as a public opposition figure during the Damascus Spring in 2000, a period of intense political and social debate that followed the death of then president Hafez al-Assad. Kilo was the driving force behind the Committee to Revive Civil Society, and in 2005 was one of the signatories of the Damascus Declaration for National Democratic Change.
Kilo reportedly joined the Executive Bureau of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in June 2011 after the start of the uprising. He turned down actual membership but has remained close to the National Coordination Body politically. In February 2012, he and a group of prominent dissidents formed the Syrian Democratic Platform.
Born in 1940 to a Christian family in Latakia, Kilo studied journalism in Egypt and Germany and later wrote for the Lebanese daily An-Nahar and the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi. He was first detained by the regime of Hafez al-Assad in the 1980s for opposing the trial of Muslim Brotherhood members in Syria, moving to France after his release until 1991, when he returned to Syria. He confirmed his reputation as a dissident under the rule of Bashar al-Assad by signing the Damascus Declaration in 2005, for which he was sentenced to three years in prison. He has remained in Syria following his second release.