PUBLIC
AI Index: MDE 24/034/2006
03 May 2006

UA 113/06

Fear of torture/incommunicado detention/prisoner of conscience

SYRIA

Fateh Jamus (m), aged 57, human rights defender

Human rights defender Fateh Jamus was arrested on 1 May by officers of State Security. He is believed to be held at State Security Branch 255 in the capital, Damascus. His family has not been allowed to see him and have not been given any information about him. He is in danger of torture.

Amnesty International believes he is held solely for his non-violent exercise of his right to freedom of expression and association and his legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights, and considers him a prisoner of conscience.

He was arrested when he arrived at Damascus airport after a trip to Europe during which he addressed an Amnesty International conference. According to his family, a warrant
for his arrest had been issued on 15 April while he was in London.

During his trip to Europe, Fateh Jamus spoke at an Amnesty International conference in Sweden on human rights and asylum issues, and met the Swedish Parliamentary Human Rights Group. Among his activities in the UK was appearing in a radio programme promoting Arab-Kurdish dialogue and peaceful reform in Syria.

Fateh Muhammad Jamus is a mechanical engineer, and a member of the unauthorised Party for Communist Action. He had been arrested in February 1982 and unfairly tried with other PCA members before the Supreme State Security Court which eventually sentenced him to 15 years' imprisonment on 11 January 1994. He was not released until 2000, by which time he had spent 18 years in prison.

On 23 August 2003 he was arrested again, together with 13 others, while he was attending a lecture marking the 40th anniversary of the declaration of the state of emergency in Syria. He was charged with "affiliation to a secret organization and carrying out acts which could incite factional conflict within the nation". He was sentenced to one year in prison; the charges against him were dropped in the presidential amnesty of the same year.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Arabic, English, French or your own language:
- calling on the authorities to release Fateh Jamus immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience held solely for his peaceful work in defence of human rights;
- expressing concern at reports that he is held incommunicado, putting him at grave risk of torture;
- seeking assurances that Fateh Jamus will be well treated, and not tortured or ill-treated;
- reminding the authorities that Fateh Jamus must be given immediate access to a lawyer of his own choosing, his family and any medical attention he may require.

APPEALS TO:

President
His Excellency Bashar al-Assad
Presidential Palace
al-Rashid Street
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: + 963 11 332 3410
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Defence
His Excellency General
Hassan Ali Turkmani
Ministry of Defence
Omayyad Square
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: +963 11 223 7842
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Foreign Affairs
His Excellency Walid Mu’allim
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
al-Rashid Street
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: + 963 11 332 7620
Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Syria accredited to your country.

SYRIENS AMBASSAD
BOX 24262
104 51 STOCKHOLM
FAX 08-660 88 05

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 14 June 2006.

Source: Amnesty International, International Secretariat,
1 Easton Street, WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom