Retour page d'accueil

IDHAE World  Globebservatory for Defence Rights and attacks against lawyers

OTHER IDHAE - URGENT APPEALS

OBSERVATORY FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

Amnesty nternational – Worldwide appeals

Human Rights Watch Campaigns (HRW)

Frontline Defenders

Protectionline

International Freedom of Expression Exchange

Asia Human Rights Alert

Retour page d'accueil

ATTORNEY URGENT  ALERT

 

SYRIA

 

28  July 2009

 

For reporting on cases treated before the State Security Court (SCC).  

Retour page d'accueil

Mohanad Al-Hasani,  

  arrested

by State security agents

 

 

Source :   Frontline (Letter) & The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS

 

 

 

 

  Muhanad Al-Hasani, eminent human rights defender and lawyer, chairman of the Syrian organization for Human Rights – Sawasiah – a leading and most professional Syrian human rights organization, was arrested on 28 July 2009 for reporting on cases treated before the State Security Court (SCC).

State security agents arrested Al-Hasani, head of the Syrian Organization for Human Rights, on Tuesday and are believed to be holding him at a facility in Damascus’ al-Hateeb district.

Authorities have increasingly harassed and intimidated Al-Hasani over the last three weeks because of his work monitoring the Supreme State Security Court, a special court established under Syria’s emergency law that handles politically-sensitive cases. “Freedom House is deeply concerned for the safety and welfare of Al-Hasani and urges authorities to release him immediately,” said Jennifer Windsor, Freedom House executive director. “The Syrian government is solely responsible for Al-Hasani’s well-being and must ensure that security agents do not engage in the kind of torture and brutality for which they are so well known.”

On 23 July 2009, Muhanad Al-Hasani received a call from the Public Intelligence Directorate (PID), “Al-Mukhabrat Al-Amma” in which he was asked to attend a meeting on 26 July with a high level security officer.

Following that meeting, over the next two days, Muhanad Al-Hasani was repeatedly summoned and attended meetings at the PID. On the last of these meetings, on 28 July at 7:00 pm, he was arrested and detained incommunicado

Previously, on the morning of 19 July 2009, Muhanad Al-Hasani was one of many lawyers attending a hearing of ten defendants before the State Security Court (SSC). At 1:00 pm, immediately after the end of the hearing, Muhanad Al-Hasani was walking towards the court cafeteria building when an employee of the SSC forcefully took his notebook, cut out the papers related to the hearing and ripped other pages.

Muhanad Al-Hasani immediately reported the incident to the head of the SSC, in the presence of other members of the court. The head of the SSC summoned the employee and reprimanded him for “harassing a lawyer on duty and taking his private papers”. The employee said that he was acting on orders from the head attorney of the SSC.

The head attorney of the SSC, Habib Najma, who was present, confirmed giving the order, explaining that Muhanad Al-Hasani tended to abuse the confidentiality of the SSC. Habib Najma read some of the notes from the confiscated papers and commented that this information would soon be disseminated on the internet.

Muhanad Al-Hasani argued that the court sessions are open and that he was attending as a human rights observer and had not violated any law or regulations. The head judge of the court asserted the open nature of the court while the head attorney insisted that the publication of the materials would abuse the confidentiality of the SSC and threatened that he would use the notes to prosecute Muhanad Al-Hasani.

The representative of the Ministry of Justice, who was also present, reprimanded Muhanad Al-Hasani and asked him not to make an issue of the incident. Muhanad agreed to do that on the condition that his papers would be returned to him and that he was not further harassed. However, the notes were not returned.

Since the establishment of the SHRO in 2004, Muhanad Al-Hasani has received threats that he would be judicially prosecuted and imprisoned for running an unauthorised organisation. Similar to many other human rights organisations in Syria, the SHRO was refused permission to register.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW !

CALL UPON ALL HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS AND ORGANIZATIONS TO SPEAK OUT IN DEFENSE OF MUHANAD AL-HASANI .

RECOMMENDED ACTION: 

 

Please write to the Syrian authorities and ask them to:

  1. 1, Immediately and unconditionally release Muhanad Al-Hasani, as I believe that he is being held solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;
  2. 2. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the arrest and targeting of Muhanad Alhasani;
  3. 3. Ensure that the treatment of Muhanad Alhasani, while in detention, adheres to all those conditions set out in the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988, and grant him immediate access to his lawyer and family;
  4. 4. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological security and integrity of Muhanad Alhasani;
  5. 5. Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Syria are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including arbitrary detention and judicial harassment.

 

ADDRESSES:

  • President Lt.-Gen. Bashar al-Assad,
    Office of the President,
    Mouhajreen,
    Presidential Palace,
    Abu Rumanch,
    Al-Rashid Street,
    Damascus,
    Syria.

 

LETTER

(Thanks to Frontline)

 

[Your name here]

 

Your Excellency

Mr Muhanad Al-Hasani, a human rights lawyer and the president of the Syrian Human Rights Organisation (SHRO), was arrested on 28 July 2009 for reporting on cases treated before the State Security Court (SCC). I am highly concerned for the wellbeing of Muhanad Al-Hasani and call for his immediate release.

On 23 July 2009, Muhanad Al-Hasani received a call from the Public Intelligence Directorate (PID), “Al-Mukhabrat Al-Amma” in which he was asked to attend a meeting on 26 July with a high level security officer.

Following that meeting, in the next two days, Muhanad Al-Hasani was repeatedly summoned and attended meetings at the PID. At the last of these meetings, on 28 July at 7:00 pm, he was arrested and detained incommunicado

Previously, on the morning of 19 July 2009, Muhanad Al-Hasani was one of many lawyers attending a hearing of ten defendants before the State Security Court (SSC). At 1:00 pm, immediately after the end of the hearing, Muhanad Al-Hasani was walking towards the court cafeteria building when an employee of the SSC forcefully took his notebook, cut out the papers related to the hearing and ripped other pages.

Muhanad Al-Hasani immediately reported the incident to the head of the SSC, in the presence of other members of the court. The head of the SSC summoned the employee and reprimanded him for “harassing a lawyer on duty and taking his private papers”.

The employee said that he was acting on orders from the head attorney of the SSC. The head attorney of the SSC, Habib Najma, who was present, confirmed giving the order, explaining that Muhanad Al-Hasani tended to abuse the confidentiality of the SSC. Habib Najma read some of the notes from the confiscated papers and commented that this information would soon be disseminated on the internet.

Muhanad Al-Hasani argued that the court sessions are open and that he was attending as a human rights observer and had not violated any law or regulations. The head judge of the court asserted the open nature of the court while the head attorney insisted that the publication of the materials would abuse the confidentiality of the SSC and threatened that he would use the notes to prosecute Muhanad Al-Hasani.

The representative of the Ministry of Justice, who was also present, reprimanded Muhanad Al-Hasani and asked him not to make an issue of the incident. Muhanad agreed to do that on the condition that his papers would be returned to him and that he was not further harassed. However, the notes were not returned.

Since the establishment of the SHRO in 2004, Muhanad Al-Hasani has received threats that he would be judicially prosecuted and imprisoned for running an unauthorised organisation. Similar to many other human rights organisations in Syria, the SHRO was refused permission to register.

I believe that the detention of Muhanad Al-Hasani is directly connected to his work as a human rights lawyer. I am deeply concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Muhanad Al-Hasani.

I call upon the authorities in Syria to:

1, Immediately and unconditionally release Muhanad Al-Hasani, as I believe that he is being held solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;

2. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the arrest and targeting of Muhanad Al-Hasani;

3. Ensure that the treatment of Muhanad Al-Hasani, while in detention, adheres to all those conditions set out in the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988, and grant him immediate access to his lawyer and family;

4. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological security and integrity of Muhanad Al-Hasani;

5. Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Syria are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including arbitrary detention and judicial harassment.

Yours sincerely

 

[Signature]

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE ACT NOW.

THANK YOU.

 

 

page precedente

haut de la page

page suivante

 

Copyright © 2009 IDHAE - European Bar Human Rights Institute.

 

-->