SYRIA : ’Abdel al-Salam Assaqqa
Fear of torture/ Incommunicado detention
mercredi 9 novembre 2005
AI Index : MDE 24/098/2005
Further Information on 270/04 (MDE 24/068/2004, 21 September 2004)
SYRIA : ’Abdel al-Salam Assaqqa (m), aged 46
08 November 2005
’Abdel al-Salam Assaqqa was released on 2 November. He had been arrested in August 2004, apparently because of his reported sympathies with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
He was one of 190 political prisoners released under a presidential amnesty to mark the Muslim ’Eid holiday. Among the 190 were prisoners of conscience whose unconditional release Amnesty International had been demanding for years, and others sentenced to prison terms after grossly unfair trials.
According to information Amnesty International’s sources in Syria and Lebanon, 101 of the people now released had been detained because they were linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
At the time of his arrest, ’Abd al-Salam Assaqqa and his family had been living in exile in Jordan for over 20 years. On 27 August 2004, his wife and children, who had been visiting Syria, were stopped at the border as they attempted to re-enter Jordan. ’Abd al-Salam Assaqqa was asked to come to the Syrian side of the border to sign consent papers for the travel of his eight-year-old son, but when he arrived, was himself threatened by Syrian security forces. He tried to flee back to the Jordanian side of the border, but was captured, and handed over to Syrian security officers.
He was held incommunicado at the Military Intelligence Centre in Homs, where he is said to have been beaten repeatedly on his feet and all over his body with sticks and cables, and to have suffered many beatings to his stomach.
No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.