Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

The release of Mr Abdel Karim Rihaoui President of the Syrian League for Human Rights


012 / 0811 / OBS 109


Arab Republic

August 24,

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 on the following
situation in Syria.

of the situation

Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the release of Mr. Abdel Karim Rihaoui, President of the Syrian League for
Human Rights
. According to the information received, on August 22, 2011,
Mr. Abdel Karim Rihaoui was released without charge by the Syrian authorities,
after eleven days in detention.


The Observatory recalls that Mr. Abdel Karim Rihaoui was arrested on August 11, 2011, by
a patrol of the Air Intelligence, at the Havana Cafe in downtown Damascus,
where he was meeting with a journalist[1].


The Observatory welcomes the release of Mr. Abdel Karim
Rihaoui and thanks all the persons, institutions and organisations who
intervened in his favour and recalls that despite this positive measure human
rights defenders and their families continued to be harassed by the authorities
on a daily basis in retaliation for their human rights activities carried out
in the context of the national social protest movement and several remained in
detention as to the date of publication of this appeal.




write to the Syrian authorities, urging them to:


in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of
Abdel Karim Rihaoui;


ii.Put an
end to any kind of harassment against all human rights defenders in Syria as
well as against their families;


with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by
the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially:

– its
Article 1, which states 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 (a), 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 the national and international levels to meet or
assemble peacefully”;

– and its
Article 12.2, which provides that “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”;


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.




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. Ahmad Hamod Younes, Mazeh “Otstrad”, 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

Ambassador Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui, 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:

· Embassy
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.


* * *

August 24, 2011


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


Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human
Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.


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

[1] See The Observatory and Euromed Joint Press Release, August 12, 2011.