Document - Syria: Further information: Hundreds of prisoners released in Syria
Further information on UA: 87/11 Index: MDE 24/025/2011 Syria Date: 15 June 2011
HUNDREDS OF PRISONERS RELEASED IN SYRIA
Hundreds of people arrested during protests in Syria have now been released, some individually in previous months and some following a “general amnesty” on 31 May 2011. Nonetheless, arrests continue on a daily basis and hundreds of people remain in incommunicado detention, where they are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
Those freed before the “general amnesty” include Mohammed Hasan al-Labwani, Hassan ‘Abd al-‘Adhim, aged 79, and ‘Omar Qashaash, aged 85, Ahmed Haji Khalaf, Manhal Mahmoud Barish and his two brothers Ayham and Shadi Barish, who were all released on different dates between 5 and 26 May. In addition, Dorothy Parvaz was deported to Iran by the Syrian authorities following her arrest at Damascus airport on 29 April and released from the custody of the Iranian authorities on 18 May.
Amnesty International received reports that Mohammed Hasan al-Labwani and others were tortured or otherwise ill-treated while in detention. Dorothy Parvaz’s testimony to Al Jazeera about her detention describes what sounded like other detainees being subjected to torture during interrogation: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/05/2011518184325620380.html
Amnesty International is not aware whether Firas Fayyad or ‘Abdullah Khalil have been released.
Among the detainees who, as far as Amnesty International is aware, remain detained incommunicado, is political activist Wa’el Hammada, who appears to be held by the Air Force Security in Damascus. His brother ‘Abd al-Rahman Hammada was transferred yesterday to Damascus Central Prison (also known as ‘Adra prison) and is no longer held incommunicado. Please see UA 149/11 Index: MDE 24/023/2011 Syria and follow-up.
President Bashar al-Assad announced on 31 May a “general amnesty” for those convicted and imprisoned for certain offences committed before that date. As a result several hundred prisoners, including detainees whom the authorities described as members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood and other “politically affiliated” prisoners, were released. Those amnestied included about nine individuals imprisoned in previous years who Amnesty International had determined were prisoners of conscience.
Amnesty International has called on Syria’s President to fully implement the “general amnesty” by immediately freeing all prisoners of conscience, including those detained because of their participation in peaceful protests.
Many thanks to all who sent appeals! We will close this broad-reaching UA, but will continue issuing UAs about individual Syrians who are at risk of human rights abuses in the context of the current unrest.
This is the fourth update of UA 87/11. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE24/013/2011/en, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE24/014/2011/en, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE24/016/2011/en and http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE24/019/2011/en
FU on UA: 87/11 Index: MDE 24/025/2011 Issue Date: 15 June 2011