A non-governmental research and human rights center and a member in the Euro-Mediterranean Network for Human Rights
political prisoners and close Tadmur Prison”
Damascus Center for Theoretical Studies and Civil Rights follows with concern
the conditions of political detainees in the Syrian prisons, whose number today
exceeds 1800. A great number of these detainees were sent to trial and were
sentenced to death or life imprisonment under the charge of being members of the
illegal Muslim Brotherhood movement. Others, however, were sent to prison
without trial. The authorities also sought to readjust the conditions of a
significant number of detainees, aligned to secular political parties. They sent
them to the exceptional State Security Court between 1992 and 1997, which passed
brute sentences against peaceful political oppositionists. Sometimes, the
sentences surpassed 15 years in prison, only for alignment to a banned political
organization. For instance, Dr Abdel Aziz al-Khir was sent to prison for 22
years for his leading position in the communist labor party, while the secretary
general of the Syrian communist party, Ryadh al-Turk has not even received the
benefit of a trial for 17 years.
the other hand, those who remained alive from the Arab Communist Organization
have spent 25 years in prison, including Emad Shiha and Haytham Naal,Fares
while five leading members of the organization were executed in 1975. Moreover,
our colleague, Nazar Nyouf, is still in prison for consecutive nine years on the
charge of defending human rights and democratic freedoms.
are other five communist detainees in the notorious Tadmur prison. They are
suffering under the inhuman conditions, prevailing there. The five prisoners
include, Ammar Rezq,Abdullah Qubara, Noeman Abdu, Omar al-Hayek, Gris al-Talli,
Mazen Shamsin, and Mahmoud Eissa. Moreover, we have recently received a notice
from an Islamic female prisoner, who reported that several women in the Tadmur
prison were raped with two of them became pregnant.
above only represent the top of an iceberg, despite the repeated promises and
rumours on releasing detainees. The number of released prisoners has not
exceeded 34 prisoners since the death of former President Hafez Asad, while the
number of new detainees in on the rise. The detainees from the city of Qudsia,
who were arrested after the authorities found a smashed statue for Hafez Asad in
their city, have not been released yet.
Damascus Center, therefore, urges all Arab and International non-governmental
organizations to intervene for an end to arbitrary detention in Syria and the
immediate closure of Tadmur Prison. During the previous few years, many books
and testimonies have been published on the tragic conditions in this notorious
prison. There is no justification for this prison to remain, unless for
terrorizing people and political activists.