Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Detained Syrian man at risk of torture

URGENT ACTION
Ahmed Andora was arrested by Syrian security forces in Damascus on 28 September. He has been detained incommunicado since 2 October and may have been subjected to enforced disappearance, putting him at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Ahmed Andora was meeting two people at a café in Damascus on 28 September when he was arrested by members of the security forces, according to a friend of his who has spoken to Amnesty International. He was reportedly allowed to make a phone call to his family on 2 October during which he confirmed his arrest and implied he was being held at the Political Security branch in Damascus. No one has heard from him since and Amnesty International is consequently concerned that he has been subjected to enforced disappearance.

Amnesty International was informed that Ahmed Andora’s family and lawyer have been repeatedly asking for information about him, through both the authorities and unofficial channels, but have heard nothing. It fears for Ahmed Andora’s safety as a number of released detainees held during the ongoing unrest in Syria have reported that torture and other ill-treatment is widely used by security forces.

The reasons for Ahmed Andora’s arrest are unknown but a contact in Syria told Amnesty International that he may have been targeted because he has been active in connection with pro-reform protests. If these activities have been peaceful, as is believed to be the case, Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience and call for his immediate and unconditional release.

Please write immediately in Arabic, English, French or your own language:
?             Express concern that Ahmed Andora is being held incommunicado in conditions that amount to enforced disappearance and asking for information on his whereabouts, the reason for his arrest and his legal status;
?             Call for him to be protected from torture and other ill-treatment, to be allowed contact with his family and a lawyer of his choice, and to be provided with regular medication and any medical care he requires;
?             Express concern that Ahmed Andora may be detained solely for carrying out peaceful activities in connection with pro-reform protests and noting that, if this is the case, Amnesty International would consider him to be a prisoner of conscience and call for his immediate and unconditional release.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 3 JANUARY 2012 TO:

President
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 11 214 625 12 / or 3

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

DETAINED SYRIAN MAN AT RISK OF TORTURE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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 3,200 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. Following an action plan agreed with the League of Arab States on 30 October 2011, the Syrian authorities pledged on 2 November to withdraw its troops from restive cities, free prisoners held in connection with the current events, and start talks with opposition groups.  However, arrests of protesters and perceived supporters of the protests have continued since.
Over 150 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.
Meanwhile, there have been increasing reports of deaths of members of the army and security forces in recent weeks. Many have allegedly been killed in clashes with the Free Syrian Army, formed in July and composed in part of defected armed forces personnel, and other individuals who have taken up arms with the stated intention of protecting their neighbourhoods against security operations.
Name: Ahmed Andora
Gender m/f: M