Document - Siria. ACCIÓN MÉDICA. Mamun al-Humsi

Public


AI Index: MDE 24/006/2002

Distrib: PG/SC



To: Health professionals

From: Medical office / Middle East Program

Date: 6 March 2002


MEDICAL ACTION

Mamun al-Humsi

Syria


Keywords prisoner of conscience / illness / medical care


Amnesty International's concerns


Mamun al-Humsi, a 45-year-old member of the Syrian People's Assembly (Parliament), was arrested on 9 August 2001. He was put on trial before the Criminal Court in Damascus on 30 October 2001, charged with offences including ''attempting to change the constitution by illegal means''.


At a court session on 13 February 2002, lawyers of parliamentarian Mamun al-Humsi, a prisoner of conscience, urged that the hearing be deferred due to the POC's poor health condition and the fact that he is being denied access to specialist medical care as requested by a doctor who saw him at Adra prison where he is being held.


According to a medical report seen by Amnesty International he is suffering from a serious increase in blood sugar level. This condition has been caused by poor control of his diabetes and if not corrected will lead to serious medical complications. Psychological stresses have compounded his poor health. In one court session he was visibly exhausted and witnesses noted swelling of his lower extremities. According to doctors he needs to be hospitalized as an urgent priority to control his diabetes and investigate his kidney function.


Background


Prior to his arrest, Mamun al-Humsi issued a statement calling for political and economic reform in Syria and commenced a hunger strike. Amnesty International requested permission to send observers to his trial but did not receive and answer.


On 26 December 2001, Mamun al-Humsi's lawyers reportedly reaffirmed a request for 20 defence witnesses to be called to testify, including the former Minister of the Interior, Muhammad Harba. The judge rejected the request on the grounds that the testimony would be ''unnecessary and counter-productive''. Mamun al-Humsi reportedly shouted angrily and defied the judge's order to keep silent. His nephews Riad Sairafi and Ahmad Sairafi, and his brother-in-law Jamal al-Masri, applauded, and continued shouting in al-Humsi's support after they had left the court building. They were arrested in the street by members of the military intelligence, accused of provoking ''public disorder'' and held in 'Adra Prison on charges of ''disorderly behaviour''. The three men were released on bail on 19 January 2002. Other relatives of Mamun al-Humsi are also reportedly being harassed and intimidated by the Syrian authorities.


Recommended actions


Please send polite letters, in Arabic, English, French or your own language, to the addresses below, using professionally-headed paper if you use this in your profession:


  1. urging the authorities to release Mamun al-Humsi immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience;


  1. expressing concern about reports of his health situation urging that he receive whatever medical care he needs; seek details of any diagnosis and the treatment he is currently receiving;


  1. asking for assurances that he is being otherwise well-treated in custody and not tortured or otherwise ill-treated.



Addresses


His Excellency

President Bashar al-Assad

Presidential Palace

Abu Rummaneh

Al-Rashid Street

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic

Salutation: Your Excellency


His Excellency

Nabil al-Khatib

Minister of Justice

Ministry of Justice

Al-Nasr Street

Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic

Fax: + 963 11 224 6250

e-mail: moj@net.sy

Salutation:Your Excellency


His Excellency

Maj-Gen Ali Hammud

Minister of the Interior

Ministry of the Interior

Merjeh Circle

Damascus

Syrian Arab Republic

Faxes: + 963 11 222 3428

Salutation: Your Excellency


Copies


Please send copies of your letters to diplomatic representatives of Syria accredited to your country.



Monitoring of action


If you have access to e-mail you can help our attempt to monitor letter-writing actions. If you write one,

two, three or more letters, please send us an e-mail and let us know. Please write in the subject line of

your e-mail the index number of the action and the number of letters you write

e.g. MDE 24/006/2002 - 2 (if you write two letters). Please send your message to medical@amnesty.org Thank you.

Page 2 of 2

How you can help

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE