Document - UA 45/92 - Syria: incommunicado detention / fear of torture: 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Khayyir, Bahjat Sha'bu, Khadija Dib




EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: MDE 24/04/92

Distr: UA/SC


11 February 1992

UA 45/92 Incommunicado Detention/Fear of Torture


SYRIA: 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Khayyir

Bahjat Sha'bu

Khadija Dib (female)







Amnesty International has received reports that 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Khayyir, Bahjat Sha'bu and Khadija Dib are being held incommunicado and it is feared that they may be tortured. They were reportedly arrested in Damascus at the beginning of February 1992 by members of al-Mukhabarat al-'Askariyya, Military Intelligence, in connection with the prohibited Hizb al-'Amal al-Shuyu'i, Party for Communist Action (PCA). Their current whereabouts are unknown. Tens of other members and sympathizers of the PCA are also said to have been arrested at the same time in Damascus, Lataqiyya and Aleppo. Amnesty International does not know how many of these are currently detained.


'Abd al-'Aziz al-Khayyir, a doctor born in 1951 and married with one child, has reportedly been sought by the authorities for political activities connected with the PCA. His wife, Muna al-Ahmad, was also detained in connection with the PCA from August 1987 until December 1991 when she was released. She was held without charge or trial and was adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.


Bahjat Sha'bu, a former medical student born in 1958 and married with one child is also reported to have been sought by the authorities in connection with the PCA. He had previously been detained in connection with the PCA from 1979 to 1980. His wife, Rana Ilyas Mahfudh, was detained from February 1988 until December 1991, apparently in order to force him to give himself up. She was adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.


Khadija Dib, from Lataqiyya aged 32, is a former prisoner of conscience. Her husband, Qais Darwish, is currently detained in connection with the PCA and is adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience. He was arrested in August 1984 and has since been held without charge or trial.


Amnesty International fears that the three detainees may be tortured. In addition, the organization believes that they may be held solely for the non-violent expression of their political beliefs and as such would be prisoners of conscience.



RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/airmail letters:


- expressing concern at reports that 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Khayyir, Bahjat Sha'bu and Khadija Dib are being held and incommunicado and that it is feared that they may be tortured;


- seeking assurances that they are being treated humanely and are not being subjected to torture or ill-treatment;


- requesting that all detainees be given prompt access to their families

and lawyers, and that all necessary medical care be provided;


- asking for their immediate release unless they are to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and given a prompt and fair trial.



page 2 of UA 45/92

APPEALS TO:


His Excellency

President Hafez al-Assad

Presidential Palace

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic

Telegrams:President al-Assad, Damascus, Syria

Telexes:419160 munjed sy

Salutation:Your Excellency


His Excellency Muhammad Harba

Minister of the Interior

Ministry of the Interior

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic

Telegrams:Interior Minister, Damascus, Syria

Salutation:Your Excellency


His Excellency Khaled al-Ansari

Minister of Justice

Ministry of Justice

Nasr Street

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic

Telegrams:Justice Minister, Damascus, Syria

Salutation:Your Excellency


His Excellency Faruq al-Shar'a

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Al-Rashid Street

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic

Telegram:Foreign Affairs Minister, Damascus, Syria

Telexes:411922

Salutation:Your Excellency


His Excellency Dr. Iyad al-Shatti

Minister of Health

Ministry of Health

al-Majlis al-Niyabi Street

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic

Telegrams:Health Minister, Damascus, Syria

Telexes:health 412655 sy

Salutation:Your Excellency


COPIES TO:


Dr. M. Cherif Bakle

Ordre des Medicins Syriens

Place de l'Etoile

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic


and to diplomatic representatives of Syria in your country.


PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 25 March 1992.

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