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Authorities block ANHRI's website

(ANHRI/IFEX) - ANHRI has denounced the full blockage of its website in Syria by the Public Institution for Telecommunication on 29 September 2008. The Institution had previously blocked a page on the same website dedicated to information on Syrian human rights. It also blocked ANHRI's blogs website, http://www.katib.org , on 25 September.

ANHRI's Legal Aid for Freedom of Expression Unit considers this action to be the result of the power of the security forces and the absence of the rule of law. It is an expected outcome of repressive policies, abuse of power and widening authority given to security forces to take control of state institutions. The Public Institution for Telecommunication has blocked ANHRI's website upon the orders of the security forces, which have a louder voice than the law and the Constitution in Syria.

The Legal Aid for Freedom of Expression Unit at ANHRI confirms that the Syrian authorities' action is just one in a series of violations that have always been committed against citizens and human rights activists under this repressive and dictatorial regime that works relentlessly against peoples' rights and freedoms. The Syrian government has a horrific record in suppressing advocates of freedom of expression, journalists, writers, and political activists who languish in its prisons.

ANHRI said, "No wonder the Syrian authorities are impatient with the ANHRI website, in particular the Syria page, which is filled with news of human rights violations such as extra-judicial arrests and enforced disappearances. Human rights activists, civil society activists, and journalists in Syria have been working to document these violations and make news about them available domestically and regionally on the ANHRI website and other international organisations' websites. ANHRI confirms that such repressive policies cannot stand against the Arab human rights movement that exposes the deteriorating human rights situation in the Arab world."

ANHRI added, "The Syrian authorities' attempt to silence the voices raised against their inhuman policies will fail and their efforts to keep these violations concealed will never stop those seeking the truth. The Syrian authorities' action is a blatant breach of the Constitution and treaties at the regional and international levels, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that provide for the right to freedom of expression and to freely exchange information."

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