HUNDREDS OF PRISONERS RELEASED IN SYRIA
Hundreds of people arrested during protests in Syria have
now been released, some individually in previous months and some following a
“general amnesty” on 31 May 2011. Nonetheless, arrests continue on a daily
basis and hundreds of people remain in incommunicado detention, where they are
at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
Those freed before the “general amnesty” include Mohammed
Hasan al-Labwani, Hassan ‘Abd al-‘Adhim, aged 79, and ‘Omar Qashaash, aged 85,
Ahmed Haji Khalaf, Manhal Mahmoud Barish and his two brothers Ayham and Shadi
Barish, who were all released on different dates between 5 and 26 May. In
addition, Dorothy Parvaz was deported to Iran by the Syrian authorities
following her arrest at Damascus airport on 29 April and released from the
custody of the Iranian authorities on 18 May.
Amnesty International received reports that Mohammed Hasan
al-Labwani and others were tortured or otherwise ill-treated while in
detention. Dorothy Parvaz’s testimony to Al Jazeera about her detention
describes what sounded like other detainees being subjected to torture during
Amnesty International is not aware whether Firas Fayyad or
‘Abdullah Khalil have been released.
Among the detainees who, as far as Amnesty International is
aware, remain detained incommunicado, is political activist Wa’el Hammada, who
appears to be held by the Air Force Security in Damascus. His brother ‘Abd
al-Rahman Hammada was transferred yesterday to Damascus Central Prison (also
known as ‘Adra prison) and is no longer held incommunicado. Please see UA
149/11 Index: MDE 24/023/2011 Syria and follow-up.
President Bashar al-Assad announced on 31 May a “general
amnesty” for those convicted and imprisoned for certain offences committed
before that date. As a result several hundred prisoners, including detainees
whom the authorities described as members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood and
other “politically affiliated” prisoners, were released. Those amnestied
included about nine individuals imprisoned in previous years who Amnesty
International had determined were prisoners of conscience.
Amnesty International has called on Syria’s President to
fully implement the “general amnesty” by immediately freeing all prisoners of
conscience, including those detained because of their participation in peaceful
Many thanks to all who sent appeals! We will close this
broad-reaching UA, but will continue issuing UAs about individual Syrians who
are at risk of human rights abuses in the context of the current unrest.
This is the fourth update of UA 87/11. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE24/013/2011/en
FU on UA: 87/11 Index: MDE 24/025/2011 Issue Date: 15 June