PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 24/002/2009
29 January 2009
Further Information on UA 328/08 (MDE 24/035/2008, 28 November 2008) Incommunicado detention/ fear
of torture or other ill-treatment
SYRIA Nabil Khlioui (m), aged 49, telecommunications worker
New names: ‘Abdel Hadi al-Salameh (m), university student
Belal Sufian (m)
Iyad Hussein (m)
Mohammed Taha (m)
Thabet al-Hasan (m)
‘Abdel Razaq al-Kbaisy (m)
Mansour Khero al-Atrash (m)
Khaldoun al-Jazaery (m)
Deceased: Mohammed Amin al-Shawa (m), 24, mathematics teacher
The 10 men named above were arrested by Military Intelligence agents in August 2008. One of them,
Mohammed Amin al-Shawa, died in custody in January 2009, according to Syrian human rights organizations,
as a result of being tortured. His death has increased concern for the safety of the remaining nine detainees,
who, according to reports received by Amnesty International, may be held at the Palestine Branch, a Military
Intelligence interrogation and detention centre in Damascus, which is notorious for torture.
On 10 January 2009, Military Intelligence agents reportedly returned the body of Mohammed Amin al-Shawa
to the city of Deir az-Zawr in eastern Syria, where they are said to have allowed his family to see his face but
not the rest of his body before he was buried on the same day in their presence.
The 10 men were among scores of individuals arrested in August 2008, mostly in Deir az-Zawr, but also in
the cities of Aleppo and Hama. According to Syrian human rights organizations, many appear to have been
arrested because the authorities interpreted their appearance and lifestyle as indications of their affiliation to
unauthorized Islamist groups.
There are widespread reports of torture and other ill-treatment in Syria’s detention and interrogation centres.
People suspected of affiliation to unauthorized Islamist groups or of possessing information about terrorism-
related offences, are at particular risk of arbitrary detention, torture or other ill-treatment. Syrian security
forces generally enjoy impunity for such violations.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English, Arabic, French or
your own language:
- expressing concern about reports that Mohammed Amin al-Shawa died in custody as a result of being
tortured, and calling on the authorities to immediately order a thorough, independent and impartial
investigation into the death, to make its results public and to bring those allegedly responsible to justice in
trial proceedings that meet international standards of fairness and do not carry the possible imposition of the