SYRIA - Arbitrary arrest of activist within medical facilities puts his life in danger

Press release

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) express their deepest concern as for the arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention of 33 year old activist Mr. Anwar Lutfi Al Dabbas.

According to the information received, on 1 January 2012, five members of the Air Force intelligence kidnapped Mr. Anwar Lutfi Al Dabbas in the operating room of the national hospital in Darya (Damascus) while he was under anesthesia to receive a surgery intervention. Reports indicate that Mr. Al Debbas was taken to an unknown location in an ambulance and that a number of members of security forces were surrounding the building during his abduction.

Mr. Al Dabbas was shot in the back during a peaceful rally protest organized on January 1st in Darya, as members of the Arab League observation team were expected to visit the city. Mr. Al Dabbas had to undertake a surgery intervention to remove a bullet that remained in his lung. His life is in danger. 

Information received by our organizations indicate that Mr. Al Dabbas has been involved in a number of peaceful protests in the city of Darya. He is also the brother in law of activist Ghiath Al Matar, who appears to have been killed under torture by the Air Force intelligence on 10 September 2011, four days after he was arbitrarily arrested. 

Mr. Al Dabbas is in vital need of urgent and adequate medical treatment. His arrest is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and puts his life in danger. The Syrian authorities should guarantee, in all circumstances, his physical and psychological integrity, release him without delay and ensure without any interference that he receives adequate medical care in accordance with, inter alia, the United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.
Our organizations are extremely concerned by the systematic campaign of arbitrary arrests carried out by the Syrian security forces against activists and victims of the repression of the movement of protest, notably within medical facilities. We remind that according to the protocol signed by Syria and the Secretariat of the Arab League on 19 December 2011, the Arab League observation mission, which is currently visiting Syria, has the mandate to ensure that all persons arbitrarily detained in relation with their participation to peaceful protests are released.

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