ٍSHRC Seventh Report on the status of ‎Human Rights in Syria 2008

ٍSHRC Seventh Report on the status of ‎Human Rights in Syria 2008

The Seventh Report on Human Rights Status in Syria covers ‎the period from the beginning of June 2006 to the end of 2007. ‎The report was due to be published on 27th of June 2007, ‎however the Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) decided ‎that its annual report be issued in January of every year ‎instead.‎

Deterioration of the status of human rights in Syria accelerated ‎on all levels through collective detention of the civil society and ‎human rights activists in the wake of the issue of the ‎Damascus-Beirut Declaration and its ramifications in May ‎‎2006, which resulted in the expansion of vengeful and punitive ‎detentions and measures on all levels. The situation worsened ‎also when the authorities launched a second crackdown that ‎involved 40 activists from among the members of the National ‎Council of the Damascus Declaration on the 9th and 10th of ‎December 2007, after they had held a conference during ‎which they elected a new leadership.

Kurds were targeted, but not as fiercely as during previous ‎periods. Dozens of them were released after they had been ‎detained for sympathising with the treacherously murdered ‎Sheikh Muhammad Ma”shooq al-Khaznawi. Some political ‎activists were detained and then released after various terms ‎without any sentences being passed against them. Yet the ‎authorities did not hesitate to shoot at them with live bullets ‎when they rallied in the streets of al-Qamishli and “Ain al-“Arab, ‎causing a number of casualties among them.‎

The Exceptional Supreme State Security Court enhanced its ‎unjust rulings quantitatively and qualitatively against whoever ‎had any relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood Movement ‎and strongly relied therein on Law No. 49, which sentences ‎them to death. It favoured the detainees accused of affiliation ‎to Islamic movements with the severest unjust judgments.‎

Random and arbitrary detentions continued for the most ‎insignificant or even no causes. The Syrian regime went on ‎routinely and systematically employing torture on the widest ‎scale. Meanwhile, the lists of those prevented from travel, ‎dismissed from their jobs, deprived of their civil rights and ‎stripped off their nationality got rapidly longer and longer.‎

The Syrian authorities still insist on ignoring the large number ‎of cases of disappearance whilst in jail, of those displaced and ‎exiled due to oppression and of the Arabs detained and in ‎prison. It is not only heedless to the suffering of the Syrian ‎exiles in Iraq, who lived their worst days there, but it increased ‎their suffering by detaining the returnees among them and ‎inciting others against them. Besides, the authorities did not ‎deal seriously with any initiative to find out through ‎neighbouring countries, the fate of those detained or lost. ‎The Syrian regime activated the practice of capital punishment ‎and shot those who participated in vigils and demonstrations ‎on the streets. Many citizens died because of torture and ‎people were silenced and deprived of the freedom of ‎expression. The regime still monopolises the media and blocks ‎more and more websites on the Internet.‎

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