Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Arbitrary detention and judicial harassment against Mr. Mohamed Najati Tayaraþ

URGENT
APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY

SYR 010
/ 0711 / OBS 102

Arbitrary
detention / Judicial harassment

Arbitrary detention and judicial harassment against Mr. Mohamed Najati Tayara

Syria

July 20,
2011 

The
Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of
the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation
Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following
situation in Syria.

Description
of the situation:

The
Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary detention
and judicial harassment against Mr. Mohamed Najati Tayara, a human
rights activist and former member of the Syrian Association for Human Rights.

According
to the information received, on May 12, 2011, Mr. Tayara was arrested by three
armed members of the political security near Khaled Bin Al-Walid Mosque in Homs
on accusation of having denounced  human rights violations committed in
the context of the violent repression of peaceful protests in the country. On
May 14, 2011, he was remanded in custody and transferred to the Central Prison
of Homs on charges of “spreading false information” and “weakening national
sentiments”, pursuant to Article 286 of the Syrian Criminal Code. Despite the
first General Amnesty issued by the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on May 31,
2011, the referral judge refused to release Mr. Tayara. Then, following the
Second General Amnesty on June 21, 2011, the referral judge decided to drop all
charges against Mr. Tayara. Yet, the Court Prosecutor appealed this decision
and Mr. Tayara currently remains in detention in the Central Prison of Homs,
awaiting decision from the Court of Cassation in Damascus.

Initially,
Mr. Tayara was detained in a dormitory with 350 other detainees, without
appropriate sanitary facilities or medical services. On May 20, 2011, Mr.
Tayara started a hunger strike along with other detainees to protest against
their detention and was subsequently ordered into solitary confinement.
According to the information received, Mr. Tayara would be in a bad health
condition. Since his arrest, he has only been allowed weekly visits by his wife
and lawyer.

The
Observatory condemns the continued detention and judicial harassment against
Mr. Tayara, which seem to merely aim at sanctioning his human rights activities
and urges the authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally. 

Actions
requested:

Please
write to the Syrian authorities, urging them to:

i.
Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr.
Mohamed Najati Tayara, as well as of all human rights defenders in Syria, and
ensure in all circumstances that Syrian human rights defenders are able to
carry out their work without unjustified hindrances;

ii. Ensure Mr.
Mohamed Najati Tayara’s access to an appropriate medical treatment;

iii. Ensure
the immediate and unconditionally release of Mr. Mohamed Najati Tayara since
his detention is arbitrary and only aims at sanctioning his human rights
activities;

iv. Put an end
to any act of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Mohamed
Najati Tayara and more generally against all human rights defenders in Syria;
 

v. Comply with
all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,
in particular with its Article 1, which provides that “everyone has the right,
individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the
protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the
national and international levels”, its Article 5 (c), which states that “for
the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms,
everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at
national and international levels (…) to communicate with non-governmental or
intergovernmental organizations”, its Article 6 (b) regarding the right “to
freely publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and
knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms”, as well as with
Article 12.2 “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the
protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in
association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto
or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a
consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the
present Declaration”;

vi. Ensure
in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in
accordance with international human rights standards and international
instruments ratified by the Syrian Arab Republic.  

Addresses:

·
President, His Excellency Bashar al-Assad, Presidential Palace, al Rashid
Street, Damascus, Syria Arab Republic, Fax: +963 11 332 3410

· Minister
of Defence, His Excellency General, Ali Habib Mahmud, Ministry of Defence, O
mayyad Square, Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic, Fax: +963 11 223 7842

· Minister
of Justice, His Excellency Mr. Tayzeer Qala Awwad, Ministry of Justice,
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic, Fax: +963 11 666 2460

· Minister
of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Wallid Mu’allim, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, al-Rashid Street, Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic, Fax: +963 11 332
7620

· Ambassador
Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to UN in Geneva,
72 rue de Lausanne, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 738 42 75, Email: mission.syria@ties.itu.int  

· Embassy
of the Syrian Arab Republic in Brussels, 1 avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050
Brussels, Belgium, Tel: +32 2 554 19 22; Fax: +32 2 648 14 85

 

Please also
write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of the Syrian Arabic Republic in
your respective country.  

***

Paris-Geneva,
July 20, 2011

Kindly
inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your
reply.

To contact
the Observatory, call the emergency line:

·        
E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org

·        
Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

·         Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49
39 / + 41 22 809 49 29