Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Abducted Syrian activist at risk of torture: Georges Moubayed

URGENT ACTION

Pro- reform activist Georges Moubayed was abducted on 10 January 2012 and remains held at an unknown location by a group believed to be linked to the Syrian authorities. On 12 January , his family received a phone-call in which he said he had been shot in the leg and the abductors demanded a ransom for his release . He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Georges Moubayed, a jeweller aged 62, was abducted after leaving his house in the Jaramana district of the capital Damascus. He had participated in pro-reform demonstrations in the city, which he had promoted via Facebook, and also gave financial and other support to families of activists who have died during the protests and unrest. Two days after his abduction, he phoned his daughter in France to say he had been captured and that he had been shot in the leg. The abductors then told her that they were demanding a ransom of 30 million Syrian Lira (about $500,000) for his release.

Thousands of pro-reform activists have been detained since March last year by the security forces and members of pro-government shabiha gangs. Torture and other ill-treatment has been widespread, and more than 235 people are reported to have died in custody.

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

Expressing concern that Georges Moubayed is held at an unknown location by a group believed to be linked to the state and at risk of torture and ill-treatment or even death;

Calling on the Syrian authorities to ensure that Georges Moubayed is released immediately, given any necessary medical treatment and is able to return to his home safely;

Calling on the Syria authorities to ensure that all attacks against pro-reform activists are investigated thoroughly and that those responsible are brought to justice

P LEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 1 MARCH 2012 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

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Walid al-Mu’allim

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

al-Rashid Street

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic

Fax: +963 11 214 6251/6252/6253

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

ABDUCTED SYRIAN ACTIVIST AT RISK OF TORTURE
ADditional Information

Pro-reform demonstrations began in Syria in February 2011 and evolved into mass protests in mid-March. 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 4,600 people reported to have died or been killed during, or in connection with, the protests and unrest. 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. Members of the security forces have also been killed, some by defecting members of the army and others who have taken up arms against the government.

Thousands of people have been arrested, with many held incommunicado at unknown locations at which torture and other ill-treatment are reported to be rife. Over 235 people are reported to have died in custody in highly suspicious circumstances since 1 April 2011.

The Syrian state has multiple security and intelligence agencies in addition to even more opaque groups, often armed but not necessarily uniformed, who also carry out abductions, killings and other abuses in apparent coordination with, or at least approval of, state officials. Amnesty International has also received reports of armed individuals threatening, abusing and, in some cases, killing people perceived to be linked to or supportive of the state.

Name: Georges Moubayed

Gender m/f: m