Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

SYRIAN PRISONER RELEASED, BROTHER STILL HELD

URGENT ACTION

SYRIAN PRISONER RELEASED, BROTHER STILL HELD

Abd al-Rahman Hammada was released on bail on 27 June 2011
after spending a month and a half in detention. He was reportedly tortured
during the first two weeks of his detention. His brother Wa’el Hammada has been
held incommunicado since his arrest on 12 May. Amnesty International is gravely
concerned for his safety.

‘Abd al-Rahman Hammada was arrested on 30 April and held for
the first six weeks of his detention in the custody of Air Force Security, an
intelligence agency with powers of arrest and detention, in Damascus. On 14
June, he was transferred to ‘Adra prison, located in the outskirts of Damascus,
and remained there until his release. He is now back with his family but is
awaiting trial on several charges including “weakening national sentiment”
(Article 285 of the Syrian Penal Code) and “conveying within Syria false news
that could debilitate the morale of the nation” (Article 286). According to
sources in Syria, these charges relate to his family relationship with Wa’el
Hammada and sister-in-law Razan Zaitouneh, both peacefully involved in popular
protests calling for political reform.

Wa’el Hammada is understood to be held in the custody of Air
Force Security. Amnesty International believes that he is a prisoner of
conscience detained for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and
association and his marriage to Razan Zaitouneh. He is also believed to have
been tortured.

Please write immediately in Arabic, English, French or your
own language:

       
Welcoming the release of ‘Abd
al-Rahman Hammada but calling for the charges against him to be dropped, as
Amnesty International believes they relate solely to the peaceful involvement
of his brother and sister-in-law in protests;

 

       
Expressing concern about
reports that both ‘Abd al-Rahman and Wael Hammada were tortured in the custody
of Air Force Security and urging the authorities to investigate the allegations
and ensure that anyone found responsible is brought to justice;

 

 

       
Calling on the authorities
to immediately and unconditionally release Wa’el Hammada as Amnesty
International considers him a prisoner of conscience;

 

       
Expressing concern, in the
meantime, that Wa’el Hammada remains held incommunicado, and calling on the
authorities to ensure that he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment
and granted immediate access to his family, legal counsel of his own choosing,
and any medical attention he may require.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 AUGUST 2011 TO:

President

Bashar al-Assad               

Presidential Palace

al-Rashid Street               

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic               

Fax: +963 11 332 3410

Salutation: Your Excellency

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 insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email
Email address Salutation Salutation               

Please check with your section office if sending appeals
after the above date. This is the fifth update of UA 87/11. Further
information:  http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE24/025/2011/en

URGENT ACTION

SYRIAN PRISONER RELEASED, BROTHER STILL HELD

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Political activist Wa’el Hammada, aged 35, and his wife,
Razan Zaitouneh, a leading human rights activist, went into hiding in April.
They feared being arrested because of their peaceful activities in relation to
the current popular protests calling for political reform.

‘Abd al-Rahman Hammada, a 20-year-old accountant student,
was arrested on 30 April when he went to the couple’s flat to get them some
clothes, although, according to the family, he has not been involved in the
protests. Twelve days later Wa’el Hammada was arrested at his workplace.

The two men’s whereabouts remained unknown until early June,
when Razan Zaitouneh learned through reliable sources that both men were held
in Damascus by Air Force Security and that they had been tortured.

Amnesty International later learned that while detained ‘Abd
al-Rahman Hammada never met his brother.

Name: ‘Abd al-Rahman Hammada, Wa’el Hammada

Gender m/f: Both male

Further information on UA: 87/11 Index: MDE 24/033/2011
Issue Date: 7 July 2011