Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Syria – Enforced disappearance of Mr Mohammad Al-Ashtar since 13 May 2011

Syria – Enforced disappearance of Mr Mohammad Al-Ashtar
since 13 May 2011

22 July 2011

Mr Mohammad Al-Ashtar is aged 38 years and works as a
bricklayer. He is married with seven children and usually lives with his family
in Al Mazare’ region, Al Rastan, Homs, Syria.

On 13 May 2011, Mr Mohammad Al-Ashtar went to the Al Rastan
Police Station – Muderiatte Al Mintaka – to file a complaint regarding the
theft of personal items. He was immediately arrested, before being enforced
disappeared. According to our source, this arrest was because his name had been
given to all police stations by the Syrian security services which consider him
as one of the organizers of the recent peaceful demonstrations in the city of
Al Rastan.

On 21 July 2011, Alkarama submitted Mr Al-Ashtar’s case to
the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances with a copy to the
Special Rapporteurs on Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of
Assembly and Association.

Mr Al-Ashtar is also the son of Mr Kassem Al-Ashtar (78 years
old), a well known personality, who was arrested by Syrian Securities forces on
2 June 2011 before being released on 15 June 2011. During this detention, Mr
Kassem Al-Ashtar was interrogated regarding the alleged activities of his 8
sons during the recent demonstrations and he was subjected to severe acts of
torture and other ill-treatments.

Alkarama fears for Mr Al-Ashtar’s physical and mental
integrity as he is at high risk of torture and ill-treatment during this
disappearance. We request the Syrian authorities to ensure that Mr Mohammad
Al-Ashtar is released or placed under the protection of the law as quickly as
is possible.