Joint Statement by
Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies, Syrian Human Rights
Committee, Syrian Human Rights Society and the National Council for Truth,
Justice and Reconciliation in Syria.
The Syrian Government rededicates its old methods
by arresting MP Mohammad Ma’moon Al-Homsi
A call for solidarity for achieving freedom for MP Mohammad Ma’moon Al-Homsi
In a step that rededicates the old methods and tactics of the Syrian regime, the Syrian authorities arrested MP Mohammad Ma’moon Al-Homsi on the morning of August 9th, 2001 at his office in the Ezbakeye area in front of his sons and supporters after a judge issued in the seventeenth chamber in the Ministry of Justice a warrant for his arrest without mentioning the reasons. It is worth mentioning meanwhile that Mr. Al-Homsi has been on a hunger strike since Tuesday, August 7th, 2001 to demand fulfillment to his demands, which he presented in the last session of the Syrian Parliament, in which he urged the Parliament to form a committee for human rights in Syria. That demand was met by a harsh attack and criticism by the members of parliament appointed by the regime (PNF instated non-elected members) and their allies, who in turn, accused Mr. Al-Homsi of devising hoaxes as if the parliament never knew that the vast majority of parliaments around the globe include such a committee for issues pertaining to human rights.
Once the hunger of Mr. Al-Homsi was underway, he specified his demands to the Syrian authorities in a proclamation he issued, in which he called for demanding to recognize the supremacy of the law, sacredness of the constitution, receding the state of emergency, doing away with the marshal law, and reinforcing the judicial authority after reforming it and guaranteeing its neutrality, and ending the functionality of the Central Inspection Bureau, which has become basically a tool for intimidation, horror and account-settling, which practically sets its activity outside its intended designated duties. Mr. Al-Homsi demanded social justice to every citizen and limiting the interference of the security apparatus in the daily lives of the Syrian people.
But the authorities, aiming to dedicate its old methods, in an apparent victory to the wings of the regime, which refuse any positive steps toward guaranteeing human rights in Syria, resorted to arresting a member of the Syrian Parliament, thus throwing the parliamentary immunity to speak out of their opinion within or outside of the Parliament, against the wall, whereas there was no requests for lifting of this constitution-guaranteed immunity off MP Al-Homsi till he was indeed arrested. That was accomplished by a memo issued by the speaker of the Parliament to the minister of justice, which accused MP Al-Homsi of libel against the constitution, and animosity against the regime.
It is worth pointing that Mr. Ma’moon Al-Homsi suffers of asthma, and diabetes which forms an imminent danger on his life as a detainee.
We at the Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies, Syrian Human Rights Committee, Syrian Human Rights Society and the National Council for Truth, Justice and Reconciliation in Syria, call on the Syrian authorities to release MP Al-Homsi at once and safe-guarding his health and well-being. We regard this arrest a dangerous proceeding and a new unfair decision, which rededicates a course of such actions that lasted over thirty years. We assert that such retaliatory actions by the Syrian government against its political opposition are considered uncivilized and unfit for a government that presents itself as a governmental cabinet of reform and modernization, separation of authority jurisdiction, erecting justice and distancing the security apparatus off daily lives, stopping the extortion and blackmail of Syrian citizens through illegal means and respecting the constitution.
We assert that any reform steps in Syria undertaken in the judicial arena are capable of forming a pillar for the Syrian regime in the face of the fierce “Sharonite” Zionist offensive. Such reforms guarantee the support of Syrian citizens for their government against any external threats, while the state of emergency and the policy of “muzzling” could never achieve such crucial populist support.
Damascus, Europe, August 9th, 2001
Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies
The Syrian Human Rights Committee
Syrian Human Rights Society and the National Council for Truth
Justice and Reconciliation in Syria