Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)




‘Awad Jassim ‘Abbas has been held incommunicado since his
arrest on 14 May. Reports suggest he has been tortured or otherwise ill-treated
by Syrian security forces.

‘Awad ‘Abbas was arrested at his home in al-Dumayr,
north-east of the capital Damascus, during a raid by a reportedly large number
of armed members of Syrian Air Force Security. The security forces were
searching for his brother Hussein Jassim ‘Abbas, who had gone into hiding due
to fears of being arrested because of his peaceful activities during the
current protests calling for political reform. ‘Awad ‘Abbas also attended
pro-reform protests, and Amnesty International believes his arrest and
subsequent detention may be in connection with this.

A former detainee at the Air Force Security branch in
Harasta, near Damascus, has said that ‘Awad ‘Abbas was held in the cell next to
his and told him that he was taken there following his arrest. Later his
relatives were informed by the security forces that, although ‘Awad ‘Abbas had
not been charged, he would not be released until his brother Hussein ‘Abbas
turned himself in. They were also told that ‘Awad ‘Abbas had been moved from
the Air Force Security branch in Harasta to the State Security branch on
Baghdad Street in Damascus, where he is believed to be still held.

Amnesty International is particularly concerned about ‘Awad
‘Abbas’ safety after the former detainee at the Air Force Security branch in
Harasta reported that ‘Awad ‘Abbas told him that he had been tortured during
his detention. A separate source in Syria has told Amnesty International that
‘Awad ‘Abbas also suffered from leg injuries and internal bleeding that
required urgent treatment, but did not know whether he was receiving adequate
medical attention.

Amnesty International believes that ‘Awad ‘Abbas may be a
prisoner of conscience, as he has apparently been detained on account of his
family relationship with his brother Hussein ‘Abbas and legitimately exercising
his rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

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

Expressing concern that
‘Awad ‘Abbas has been held incommunicado since 14 May and has allegedly been
subjected to torture or other ill-treatment in detention, and calling for these
allegations to be investigated promptly and for anyone responsible to be
brought to justice;

Urging the Syrian
authorities to ensure ‘Awad ‘Abbas that is protected against further torture
and other ill-treatment and provided with any medical attention he may require;

Expressing concern that
‘Awad ‘Abbas may be held solely because of his relationship with his brother
Hussein ‘Abbas and his attendance of popular pro-reform demonstrations and
noting that, if this is the case, Amnesty International would consider him a
prisoners of conscience and call for his immediate and unconditional release.



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.  




Air Force Security is one of the four main intelligence
agencies in Syria. They have a history of arbitrarily arresting and detaining
people on suspicion of dissent and are widely reported to practise torture and
other ill-treatment with impunity.

Syrian security forces have been carrying out widespread
arrests in response to mass protests calling for political reform and
increasingly for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, which began in
mid-March. The arrests have 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. The wave of arrests has forced a
number of political and human rights activists into hiding.

Amnesty International has previously documented cases of Syrian
security forces arresting persons solely based on their family relations with
people perceived as activists by the Syrian government. These include ‘Abd
al-Rahman Hammada and his brother Wa’el Hammada (Index: MDE 24/033/2011), as
well as ‘Ali al-‘Abdullah (Torture fear for dozens arrested in Damascus suburb,
18 July 2011,



Name: ‘Awad Jassim ‘Abbas

Gender m/f: male

UA: 232/11 Index: MDE 24/037/2011 Issue Date: 28 July 2011