Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)


Syrian civil society activist Amjad Baiazy has been held incommunicado since
his arrest at Syria’s Damascus International Airport on 12 May. Amnesty
International believes that he may be a prisoner of conscience, detained solely
for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression. He is at
serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Amjad Baiazy, a Syrian citizen, was arrested while
about to board a flight to the United Kingdom, where he formerly studied and
was planning to reside. His family in Syria have had no contact with him since
his arrest but it appears that he is being detained by State Security, a branch
of the Syrian security police, in Damascus. The authorities have disclosed no
reason for his arrest, as far as Amnesty International is aware, and no charges
are known to have been brought against him.

Amjad Baiazy’s arrest and detention is probably linked to
the current violent government clampdown on public protests which has seen
hundreds of people killed by the security forces since mid-March. The
authorities have carried out mass arrests of real and suspected opponents,
protestors and dissidents, hundreds of whom remain detained incommunicado and
have been subjected to enforced disappearances. Many have reported torture and
other ill-treatment after their release, heightening concerns for Amjad
Baiazy’s safety.

Amjad Baiazy’s civil society activities included working
with Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) in 2007 and acting as an international
observer and interpreter for the International Mission for Iraqi Elections
(IMIE) in 2005 for elections to Iraq’s Council of Representatives.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Arabic, English, French or
your own language:

n        Expressing concern at the arrest and incommunicado
detention of Amjad Baiazy and urging his immediate and unconditional release if
he is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of
freedom of expression or other human rights;
n        Asking for confirmation of his place of detention,
the reason for his arrest and his legal status, and calling for him to be fully
protected against torture or other ill-treatment;
n        Urging the Syrian authorities to take immediate
steps to name and disclose the whereabouts of all political detainees and to
give them immediate access to lawyers of their choosing and their families and any
medical treatment they need, and to safeguard them from torture and other

Bashar al-Assad        
Presidential Palace
al-Rashid Street        
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic        
Fax: +963 11 332 3410
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Interior
Major General Mohamed Ibrahim al-Sha’aar        
Ministry of Interior
‘Abd al-Rahman Shahbandar Street        
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: +963 11 222 3428
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Walid al-Mu’allim        
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
al-Rashid Street
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic        
Fax: +963 11 214 6251
Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please
check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.


Additional Information

The Syrian army and security forces have been carrying out
mass arrests since mid-March, when popular protests called for political reform
and increasingly for the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, to step down. The
arrests particularly took place in the cities and towns that witnessed the height
of popular protests. In the coastal city of Banias for example, all males above
the age of 15 were rounded up. The arrests have also targeted people perceived
to have organized or openly supported those protests, whether orally in public
gatherings, in the media, on the internet or elsewhere. They include political
and human rights activists, mosque imams and journalists.  These mass
arrests have forced a number of political and human rights activists to go into

Amnesty International believes that many of those detained
are likely to be prisoners of conscience, held merely for exercising their
rights to freedom of expression and association by peacefully supporting or
taking part in protests. For more information on the mass arrests, see the recent
Urgent Action:


UA: 151/11 Index: MDE 24/021/2011 Issue Date: 23 May 2011
East Mediterranean Team
Amnesty International, International Secretariat
Peter Benenson House, 1 Easton Street
London WC1X 0DW
United Kingdom
E-mail: Eastmed@amnesty.org
Tel:       +44 (0)20 7413 5500
Fax:      +44 (0)20 7413 5719