Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Detained Syrian Man’s life is at risk

 ‘Awad Jassim ‘Abbas, who has had no contact with his family or lawyers since 14 May, may have been subjected to enforced disappearance by the Syrian authorities. His life is in danger.  

‘Awad ‘Abbas was arrested on 14 May, shortly after he and his brother, Hussein Jasim ‘Abbas, had attended pro-reform protests. Amnesty International believes that his detention may be connected to this. A former detainee held at the Air Force Intelligence (formerly referred to as Air Force Security) branch in Harasta, near the Syrian capital, Damascus, told the family of ‘Awad ‘Abbas in July that ‘Awad had been held in a neighbouring cell to his. The former detainee also said that he had heard what he believed to be ‘Awad being tortured or otherwise ill-treated. There has been no information on the whereabouts of ‘Awad ‘Abbas since then and it is unclear whether he has received medical attention for any injuries he may have sustained as a result of the alleged ill-treatment.

The authorities have not contacted the family of ‘Awad ‘Abbas to tell them where they are holding him, and the family are too frightened to ask the authorities directly about his whereabouts. Amnesty International therefore believes that ‘Awad ‘Abbas is being held in conditions amounting to enforced disappearance, placing him at risk of torture and other ill-treatment, and putting his life in danger.

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

             Expressing concern that ‘Awad ‘Abbas appears to have been subjected to enforced disappearance and calling on the authorities immediately to disclose his whereabouts;

             Calling for him to be protected from torture and other ill-treatment, allowed contact with his family and a lawyer of his choice, and provided with any medical care he may require;

             Expressing concern that ‘Awad ‘Abbas may be held solely because of his attendance of pro-reform demonstrations and noting that, if this is the case, Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience and call for his immediate and unconditional release.



Bashar al-Assad               
Presidential Palace
al-Rashid Street               
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic               
Fax: +963 11 332 3410
Salutation: Your Excellency



Minister of Interior
Major General Mohamed Ibrahim al-Sha’aar     
Ministry of Interior
‘Abd al-Rahman Shahbandar Street        
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: +963 113 110 554
Salutation: Your Excellency


And 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 or 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. This is the first update of UA 232/11. Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE24/037/2011/en

Pro-reform demonstrations began in Syria in February 2011 and evolved into mass protests in mid-March. The protests have been largely peaceful, yet the Syrian authorities have responded in the most brutal manner in their efforts to suppress them. Amnesty International has obtained the names of more than 2,880 people reported to have died or been killed during or in connection with the protests since mid-March. Many are believed to have been shot by security forces using live ammunition while participating in peaceful protests or attending funerals of people killed in earlier protests.
Thousands of other people have been arrested, with many held incommunicado at unknown locations at which torture and other ill-treatment are reported to be rife. Over one hundred people are reported to have died in detention in highly suspicious circumstances since 1 April. Some of the dead, who include children, were also mutilated either before or after death in particularly grotesque ways apparently intended to strike terror into the families to whom their corpses were returned.


Name: ‘Awad Jassim ‘Abbas
Gender m/f: m


Further information on UA: 232/11 Index: MDE 24/072/2011 Issue Date: 28 October 2011