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Release detained blogger Tal al-Mallouhi, ANHRI tells Syrian president

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 20 September 2010 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), April 6th movement, the al-Ghad Liberal Party and a number of Egyptian bloggers and activists have published a letter addressed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after the Syrian ambassador refused to receive a delegation that wanted to deliver a letter of support in favour of the student blogger Tal al-Mallouhi.

The delegation included ANHRI and other members of the solidarity movement. Al-Mallouhi has been detained by Syrian security since 27 December 2009. The delegation urged the Syrian president to reveal where she is being held, and to either release her or press charges against her and try her in court.

ANHRI had called for a solidarity demonstration in front of the Syrian Embassy in Cairo, which was scheduled to take place on 19 September, to deliver the letter to the Syrian president and intervene to release al-Mallouhi.

Participants at the demonstration were surprised to find that security forces had surrounded the embassy and blocked all routes leading to it. Security forces prevented participants from reaching the embassy, so the delegation of participants asked to see the ambassador to deliver the letter. Security official said that the ambassador would not be receiving guests at that time. However, the participants insisted on staging their demonstration. They raised their banners at the beginning of the street leading to the Syrian embassy. The demonstration was peaceful and lasted one hour, and therefore did not give the security officers an excuse to harass anybody.

ANHRI said, "The ambassador's refusal to receive the participants' delegation shows that the Syrian government insists on violating citizens' rights to freedom of expression. It shows that Syria has no intention of taking positive steps to improve its record on freedoms. Syrian prisons now are known to have the oldest prisoner of opinion in the Arab world, Haitham al-Maleh, who is 80 years old, and Tal al-Mallouhi, the youngest prisoner of opinion, who is 19 years old.

Click here to read the letter
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