Freedom is just priceless… freedom is man’s life… if he’s deprived of it, he will eventually die…
This presidential pardon has prevented the situation of injustice that I was experiencing from getting worse, as my prosecution was in itself contrary to the law and to justice.
Hence, the presidential pardon I have been given because of my age of over 70… I’m 80 now…that has prevented the situation of injustice that I was going through from getting worse.
I am very happy that now I can enjoy the taste of freedom again!
What are the reasons that have led to your release?
Perhaps you are aware of the situation that I was experiencing in prison.
But there was strong international pressure in favour of my release… my detention was denounced worldwide and in the Arab world... all the human rights organisations denounced my detention, as I was detained for my opinions, nothing else.
Do you have a particular call upon the international community today?
I would like to call upon the international community to exert pressure on the Syrian regime to respect their international commitments with regards to human rights... the Syrian regime has singed all international conventions, including the Arab Charter of Human Rights, which was adopted by the Arab League by virtue of decree no. 50 of 2006.
However, the Syrian regime unfortunately neither respects any convention nor legislation. My message to the international community is that it should put pressure on the Syrian regime to respect the law and international conventions.
Will you pursue your struggle in favour of fundamental freedoms?
As long as I live and I still am in good health… today I’m 80… I will continue to do what I’ve been doing for fifty years now…without ever having wavered so much to the left or right.
I will continue on this road… but I will try to go abroad… I’ve now been banned from travelling for six years… And what’s more... and contrary to all international conventions, I’m not allowed to leave the country without court decision.
I am going to go abroad to see human rights organisations… but I will return to Syria each time, as this is my country, and I will never leave it.
And finally, what more general message would you like to convey?
I would like to see the whole world standing by our side to help us access freedom here in Syria… we are in reality… the entire Syrian people lives under the yoke of a despotic and totalitarian regime…where one cannot even breathe…
We currently have thousands and thousands of prisoners… prisoners of conscience, you know. In the prison of Adra, there’s a very small group of 12 or 13 prisoners of conscience like Kamal al-Labwani who still has to serve another nine years in prison … and still others…
In reality…in the prisons… other detention centres…there are thousands of detainees… more than four thousand prisoners of conscience.
We wish the international community would [intervene], in order for the security forces to stop depriving individuals of their freedom and their daily lives.