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Syrian human rights lawyer detained

(ANHRI/IFEX) - ANHRI condemns the arrest of the Syrian human rights lawyer Khaleel Ma'atoq by Assad's security forces.

The Syrian regime's security forces arrested him on Tuesday 2 October 2012, while on his way to his office from home. The reasons of the arrest still unknown yet.

Ma'atoq is the executive manager of the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research in Damascus. It is worth noting that he is not considered a member of the opposition, nor an Assad supporter. Ma'atoq, of Kurdish origin, is well-respected among the local and Arab community for his efforts in defending prisoners of opinion in Syria for decades. Ma'atoq just returned to Syria following a medical trip to France, one of many for him recently due to a complicated lung disease.

ANHRI said that "the arrest of Ma'atoq represents a major shift in the regime's suppressive practices, which have so far avoided the arrest of significant human rights figures that do not directly oppose the regime, in particular those who belong to the ethnic minorities, and especially the Kurdish minority."

ANHRI calls for the immediate release of Ma'atoq, particularly in light of his critical health condition, which puts his life in danger. ANHRI calls on regional and international organizations to strongly press their governments to call for the release of Ma'atoq and all the prisoners of opinion and conscience in Syria.

ANHRI said “it's important to constantly remember that the global community bears a big part of the responsibility for the Syrian regime's crimes due to its inaction. Such crimes are escalating daily against the people of Syria. We are certain that the people will win at the end and will oust the oppressive Syrian regime. We are certain that these crimes will forever be a source shame to all those who have stood silent in the face of or colluded with these crimes in order to preserve their narrow political and economic interests."

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