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Human rights groups condemn detention of writer and his family

(HRinfo/CIHRS/IFEX) - The following is a joint statement by a number of Egyptian human rights groups, including HRinfo and CIHRS:

Syria: detention of a Syrian writer and his family
Egyptian human rights groups condemn the detention and calls for his release

30 March 2006

Egyptian human rights groups condemned today the continuation of the detention of Syrian writer Aly Al-Abd Allah and his two sons, Mohammed and Omar, and his nephew, since 23 March. The signatory organisations demanded that Syrian authorities release them immediately.

Syrian security forces had previously arrested Omar Al-Abd Allah, a law student and the son of Aly Al-Abd Allah, on 18 March for his criticism of the continuation of the emergency law. Security forces then arrested Aly Al-Abd Allah, his other son, Mohammed, and his nephew Salah, on 23 March. No justification or explanation was given for this oppressive procedure, which is a violation of freedom of expression and Syrian citizens' right to personal safety.

The signatory Egyptian human rights groups condemned the incident, and the deterioration of the human rights situation in Syria. One of the characteristics of human rights violations in Syria is the daily arrests of political and human rights activists, in addition to the martial courts in which Syrian citizens are tried for peacefully expressing their opinions.

Egyptian human rights groups emphasise that the state of emergency has had negative consequences for the rights of Syrian citizens. Syria has been under a state of emergency since the early 1960s.

The signatory Egyptian human rights groups call for the immediate and unconditional release of Syrian writer Aly Al-Abd Allah, his family and all other Syrian prisoners of opinion. They call on Arab and international civil society groups to support human rights activists in Syria whose rights are regularly violated on the hands of security authorities.

It is worth mentioning that the writer Aly Al-Abd Allah is a member of the committees to revive civil society and the Al-Atassy forum. He was previously arrested in May 2005 and was released four months ago to be re-detained with his family one more time. Furthermore, there are reports that he will be brought before a martial court without being provided with an explanation or reasons for such a procedure.

Signatory groups:
1. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
2. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
3. Association for Human Rights Legal Aid
4. Al-Nadim Centre for Psychological Therapy and Rehabilitation of the Victims of Violence
5. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
6. Hesham Mubarak Law Centre
7. The Civil Observatory of Human Rights
8. Maat Centre for legal and constitutional studies
9. Rural Studies Centre
10. Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies
11. Egyptian Association Against Torture
12. National Association for Human Rights and Development

Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

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