Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Syria – Risk of torture and extrajudicial killing of a known Syrian author

Syria – Risk of torture and extrajudicial killing of a
known Syrian author

22 July 2011

Dr Mohamed Jamal Al Tahhan is aged 54 years and married with
four children. He usually lives with his family in Al Miridyan region, Aleppo.
He is a member at the Arab Writers’ Union as well as the Federation of Arab
Journalists. Mr Al Tahhan holds a PhD in philosophy and is the author of many
books such as Makers of civilization.

On 19 July 2011, Mr Al Tahhan was arrested at his home by
two agents of the Aleppo Air Intelligence Branch who were wearing civilian
clothes. During his arrest, these agents didn’t present any judicial warrant
nor did they give a reason for his arrest. They then took Mr Al Tahhan to an
unknown location. Mr Al Tahan’s fate or whereabouts remains unknown as the
Aleppo Air Intelligence Branch refused to provide any information.

On 22 July 2011, Alkrama submitted an urgent appeal
regarding Mr Al Tahhan’s case to the Special Rapporteur on Torture and also informed
the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the Special
Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions and the Special Rapporteur on the
promotion and the protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

It is believed that Mr Al Tahhan’s arrest is due to his
peaceful activities in the current context of peaceful demonstrations in Syria.
A number of other human rights defenders and political activists have also been
rearrested in the same day as Mr
George Sabra.

Alkarama is very concerned about his health and fears for
his life, especially that Mr Al Tahhan is suffering from Prostate cancer, high
blood pressure and is not being given his medication. Moreover, we are aware of
the large number of deaths following torture which have occurred in Syria in
recent months.

We are also seriously concerned about the repression of
peaceful demonstrators and other activists deprived of all fundamentals
safeguards. We therefore request the Syrian government to remedy to the
situation by releasing all political activists in Syria and refrain from
arbitrary arrests and torture.

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