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Rights activist and lawyer charged for providing legal aid to detained protesters

(ANHRI/IFEX) – Cairo, 8 February 2012 – ANHRI denounces the ongoing daily massacres committed by the forces of the dictator Bashar al-Assad against protesters and activists in Syria, and also deplores the Arab and international silence over the violations against a people rebelling against injustice, corruption, and dictatorship.

Hundreds of Syrians calling for freedom are being killed in daily massacres carried out by the forces of al-Assad's illegitimate regime. Activists, opinion makers, and supporters of the revolution are detained, abducted or murdered. Meanwhile, on 7 February, some Arab countries decided to merely expel the Syrian ambassadors in their respective countries and withdraw their ambassadors from Damascus.

Security forces recently raided the home of activist Nasser Mohamed Saeed al-Sagheer in the town of Ma'damiyat al-Sham, located near Damascus. Al-Sagheer escaped to the roof of the house in fear of arrest, but the security forces threatened to arrest his two children if he did not turn himself in. Afterwards, they went up to the roof, shot him dead, and threw his body off the roof in front of his wife and children.

Meanwhile, Abdullah al-Khalil, a lawyer and human rights defender, was charged and summoned to appear before the criminal court in al-Rakka. Al-Khalil is a member of the defense team for detainees in al-Rakka and has provided legal and financial aid to many people who have been arbitrarily detained and arrested since the outbreak of the revolution in March 2011.

"The daily massacres against Syrians and the continued detention, trials and outright murder of activists are all part of an organized, ongoing campaign against opposition voices that call out for freedom and defend the revolutionaries from violations and massacres," said ANHRI.

"The steps that some Arab countries have taken in response to these daily massacres are not sufficient. The Arab countries must call on this repressive regime to step down and swiftly prosecute anyone who has committed violations against the Syrian people," added ANHRI.

ANHRI calls on civil society organizations to exert more pressure and to expose the scale and scope of daily violations to the world, and to break the silence around the catastrophic situation in Syria.

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