ANHRI condemns the catastrophic situation of freedom of opinion and expression
Cairo, 15 November 2011
ANHRI condemns the ongoing repression against freedom of expression and opinion in Syria, despite the Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria’s membership in the its council, and expresses its deep regret over the situation that freedoms have reached in Syria.
An arts hallsabotaged
On 13 November, the Syrian security forces stormed Alpha Hall in Suwaida, burned the books in the library and vandalized works of art displayed inside. The hall belongs to the sculptor Saeed Rashed who is known for supporting the popular opposition movements. The hall was being prepared to be opened for visitors on the occasion of هits periodical exhibition.
Afterwards, Security forces headed towards Al-Mazraa library, which belongs to Mohamed Baraka, a member of Damascus Declaration and a well known political opposing activist. Subsequently, the owners of the neighboring shops formed a cordon around the library and were able to prevent them from destroying it.
Trial of activists
On the same day, Court of First Instance in the city of Ras Al-Ein, held a trial session against the lawyer Mohamed Suleiman Khalil, secretary of the Kurdish Organization for the Defense of Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria, the lawyer Suleiman Mohamed Ismail, a member of the Board of Directors of the Kurdish Committee for Human Rights in Syria (Al-Rasid), and the lawyers Ali Abdullah Colo, Abdul-Wahab Jamil Mohamed, Abdul-Majid Ibrahim Elew, Ismail Mahmoud Aliko, Akram Mohyi Eddine Mamo, and Mohammed Issa Mohammed Ali Ahmed, for “demonstrating without a permit”, “inciting demonstrations”, “showing contempt, libel, and “slander against the entity of the state and its president”. The hearing was postponed to 30 November.
Ongoing killing of protestors
Amid the ongoing killing of demonstrators; 22 civilians were shot dead by security forces, including 12 in Hamah, seven in Homs, a boy in Deir ez-Zor and two in Dara and Edleb countryside. The killing was for chanting slogans against the regime, in a demonstration in favor of the Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria’s membership.
Lina Ibrahim, journalist of Tishreen newspaper, disappeared early this month after she had been seen on her way out of her house. Her whereabouts remain unknown until now.
Moreover, the freelance reporter Wael Yousef Abaza has been missing since 25 October in Damascus.
Hussein Ghrer, a well known blogger, also disappeared on 2 October on his way out of his home. It is worth noting that Ghrer’s condition, wherabouts, and circumstances of his arrest remain unknown. Prior to his disappearance, he had written on his blog “Silence doesn’t serve us after today. We don’t want a country where we get imprisoned for uttering a word. We want a country that embraces and welcomes words”.
“The situation in Syria has become catastrophic. Dozens of protestors are killed daily for demanding the ouster of the regime. Opponents and opinion makers are being targeted through ongoing detentions and unfair trials. Even artistic centers are not safe from the tyranny of the dictators security services” said ANHRI.
In deep concern over the deteriorating condition of freedom of opinion and expression with the organized campaign against it, ANHRI calls on the Arab countries and international community to pressure more and more for the liberation of the Syrian people from this dictator, who resorts to all sorts of repression to crush the Syrian uprising.