Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

SYRIAN WOMAN AT RISK OF TORTURE IN DETENTION

 URGENT ACTION

SYRIAN WOMAN AT RISK OF TORTURE IN DETENTION

Young Syrian activist Hanadi Zahlout has been held
incommunicado at an unknown location since her arrest in Damascus, Syria, on 4
August. She is at serious risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Amnesty
International fears that she may have been subjected to enforced

Hanadi Zahlout, born in 1982, is a women’s rights activist
and a member of the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) – a network of
committees responsible for organizing and planning protests. She was among a
group of young people who were arrested from a cafe in Damascus, close to where
she lives, on 4 August. According to a fellow detainee who was later released,
she was originally held at the Political Security branch in al-Fayha, Damascus.
The same source claimed that Hanadi Zahlout was forced to watch a colleague
being tortured in order to extract information on her political activities.
Amnesty International believes that she is at risk of torture and other
ill-treatment. Her current location is unclear and her family is too afraid to
inquire with the security forces.

Amnesty International has no information on whether any
charges have been brought against Hanadi Zahlout, but is concerned that she may
be detained solely for exercising peacefully her rights to freedom of
expression and assembly. Should this be the case, Amnesty International would
consider her to be a prisoner of conscience and call for her immediate and
unconditional release.

 

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

n        Expressing
concern that Hanadi Zahlout has been held incommunicado at an unknown location
since 4 August 2011, putting her at grave risk of torture and other
ill-treatment, and ask for her whereabouts and legal status to be revealed
immediately;

n        Expressing
concern that Hanadi Zahlout may be held solely for her peaceful pro-reform
activities, in which case she would be a prisoner of conscience and should be
released immediately and unconditionally;

n        Urging the
authorities to ensure that Hanadi Zahlout is protected from torture and other
ill-treatment, allowed immediate contact with her family and a lawyer of her
choice, and provided with any medical attention she may require.

 

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 7 OCTOBER 2011 TO:

President

Bashar al-Assad       

Presidential Palace

al-Rashid Street        

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic       

Fax: +963 11 332 3410

Salutation: Your Excellency

 

 

Ministry of Interior

His Excellency Major General Mohamad Ibrahim al-Shaar

Minister of Interior

‘Abd al-Rahman Shahbandar Street

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic

Fax: +963 11 311 0554

Salutation: Your Excellency

 

Also send copies to:

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates

Walid al-Mu’allim       

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates

al-Rashid Street

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic       

Fax: +963 11 214 62512/3

                                                                                
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.

 

URGENT ACTION

 

SYRIAN WOMAN AT RISK OF TORTURE IN DETENTION

 

ADditional Information

 

Syrian security forces have been carrying out widespread
arrests in response to mass protests calling for Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad to step down, which began in mid-March 2011. 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 journalists, political and human rights activists, and mosque imams.
The wave of arrests has forced a number of activists and journalists into
hiding.

 

Amnesty International has gathered sufficient information to
indicate that interrogators in detention facilities question detainees under
torture.

 

Name: Hanadi Zahlout

Gender m/f: female