Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Syria: Arrest and detention of three protest leaders Messrs Al Sahyoni

Syria: Arrest and detention of three protest leaders
Messrs Al Sahyoni

22 July 2011

Since the beginning of the protests in Syria, thousands of
arbitrary arrests, disappearances and human rights abuses have been, and
continue to be, committed by the authorities with total impunity. Human rights
activists and campaigners have in particular been targeted by the security
forces.

Arrested on 12 May 2011, Messrs Bashar, Mohamed and Ghassan
Al Sahyoni played an important role in the peaceful demonstrations that have
taken place in Syria last March, as they were in charge of coordinating
protests locally.

All three were arrested at their homes in Banias by agents
of the Military Intelligence Services, some of whom were dressed as civilians,
the other in uniforms. They were immediately taken to an unknown destination
and there has been no news of them since. Their family has not been able to
obtain information about them since their arrests as the authorities refuse to
provide any information on their well being or whereabouts. Alkarama is
therefore concerned for their physical and mental integrity as they are at high
risk of torture and ill-treatment during their disappearance.

It is clear that Messrs Bashar, Mohamed and Ghassan Al
Sahyoni have been arrested because of their active participation in, and
organisation of, peaceful demonstrations. We believe this is an attempt by the
authorities to prevent them expressing their opinions.

Alkarama is seriously concerned about the repression by
Syrian authorities of peaceful demonstrators for their exercising their right
to freedom of opinion and expression, and fears that these arrests constitute a
part of a policy aimed at shutting down any source of opposition in the
country. We call on the Syrian government to remedy to this situation by
immediately releasing Messrs Bashar, Mohamed and Ghassan Al Sahyoni and to
ensure that their right to freedom of expression and opinion is respected.