Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Incommunicado detention /Fear for physical integrity

SYR 014 / 1111 / OBS 127
November 24, 2011

The 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 in the following situation in Syria.

Description of the situation :

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrarily arrest of Mr. Bahar Abd Razzaq, a member of the Syrian Organisation for Human Rights (Sawasiyya) who has denounced the bloody repression of the peaceful protest movement in Syria.

According to the information received, on November 18, 2011, Mr. Bahar Abd Razzaq was arbitrarily arrested by section 291 of the intelligence services of the army. He remains detained incommunicado as of issuing this Urgent Appeal.

This arrest happened after three days of search of Mr. Bahar Abd Razzaq by section 291 of the intelligence services of the army, for a period of twelve hours each day. This reflects the determination of the authorities to track down human rights defenders in Syria.

The Observatory strongly condemns the arrest and continued incommunicado detention of Mr. Razzaq, as this measure seems to merely aim at sanctioning his human rights activities, and urges the authorities to disclose his whereabouts and to release him immediately and unconditionally.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Syrian authorities urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Bahar Abd Razzaq;

ii. Disclose the whereabouts of, and release immediately and unconditionally Mr. Bahar Abd Razzaq;

iii. Put an end to any kind of harassment – including at the judicial level – against Mr. Bahar Abd Razzaq as well as against all other individuals reporting human rights violations;

iv. Conform 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 6 (b) and (c), which states that “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others […] as provided for in human rights and other applicable international instruments, freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms and […] to study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters”.
– 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”;

v. Ensure 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.

Addresses :

· 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, Daud Abdullah Rajha, Ministry of Defence, O mayyad Square, Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic, Fax: +963 11 223 7842
· Minister of Justice, His Excellency Mr. Tayzeer Qala Awwad, 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 7620
· Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari, 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: mission.syria@ties.itu.int
· 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.

***
Paris-Geneva, November 24, 2011

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

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