PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 24/005/2001
UA 107/01 Fear for safety / torture / possible “disappearance”
26 April 2001
SYRIAHussain Daoud, aged 30
Hussain Daoud, an asylum seeker who was forcibly returned to Syria, has been
held incommunicado since he was arrested by Syrian security forces. He has
reportedly been tortured, and Amnesty International is concerned for his safety.
Hussain Daoud, a Syrian Kurd, was forcibly returned to Syria on 10 December
2000 after the German authorities rejected his asylum application. He was
reportedly arrested by the State Security Force (Amn al-dawla) when he arrived
at Damascus Airport. He was initially brought to State Security detention centre
No. 285, where he was apparently questioned about his and other Kurdish
activists’ activities in Germany. He has since been held at various detention
centres in Damascus and al-Qamishli in northern Syria, and has been interrogated
and tortured continually. According to unconfirmed reports, he was hospitalized
about a month ago after he suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of torture.
His current whereabouts are unknown.
The authorities have not acknowledged Hussain Daoud’s detention, but some
acquaintances of his reportedly saw him at State Security Detention centre
No. 285 in March. They were not allowed to speak with him. His family have
made numerous enquiries with the authorities, but have been unable to see him
or find out where he is being held.
Hussain Daoud applied for asylum in Braunschweig, Germany on 18 January 1996.
His asylum claim was rejected by the German authorities in all instances. He
was reportedly politically active while in Germany, and took part in
demonstrations organised by Syrian exiled groups in front of the Syrian embassy.
Political detainees are routinely tortured or ill-treated in Syria,
particularly during periods of interrogation. Throughout the years, scores
of people have reportedly “disappeared” after being arrested by Syrian security
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in English, Arabic or your own language:
- asking where Hussain Daoud is being held, and urging that
he is treated humanely and allowed access to medical care, his family and a
lawyer of his choice;
- asking the authorities why he was arrested and whether he has been charged
- expressing concern at reports that he has been tortured and ill-treated,
and calling for an independent and impartial investigation into these
President Bashar al-Assad
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic