Human rights activists prosecuted for “publishing illegally”

first_img March 8, 2021 Find out more September 16, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Human rights activists prosecuted for “publishing illegally” February 3, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders and the Syrian Human Rights Association (ADHS) called today on Syrian justice minister Nabil al-Khatib to immediately drop charges against four Syrian human rights activists, including the Association’s 72-year-old president, Haissam Maleh, for distributing an “illegal” publication.”The Syrian regime is not above the law, especially not where its association agreements with the European Union, which guarantee freedom of expression, are concerned,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard. “Syrian civil society has many intellectuals, lawyers and human rights activists who must be allowed to join together to publish a magazine.” Lawyer Haissam Maleh, businessman Farouk al-Homsi (brother of opposition member of parliament Maamoun al-Homsi, who has been jailed for five years) and ADHS vice-president Mohammed Kheir Beik have been charged with “introducing and distributing within Syria an illegal publication,” the ADHS’s magazine, Tayyarat (“currents” in Arabic). Summonses were recently issued against the three, some of whom may be abroad. The fourth man charged, Ghassoud al-Malla, is the Syrian driver of the van that brought copies of the magazine into the country from neighbouring Lebanon. He is thought to have been jailed in Syria nearly four months ago.The ADHS, formed in July last year by several intellectuals and not officially authorised in Syria, distributed the first issue of its magazine this July. A copy was sent to President Bashar el-Assad and the ADHS is applying for the magazine’s publication in Syria to be authorised.Maleh, who is abroad having medical treatment, is accused of “spreading false information, belonging to a political association with ties to foreign parties and distributing publications inciting people to religious dissent and harming the nation,” the ADHS said.Maleh had legally defended 10 regime opponents arrested last year in what was seen as the end of the “Damascus spring” noted with the president’s succession to his late father two years ago. The 10, who include the well-known Riad Turk, have since been jailed for between two and 10 years each, some last month. News Help by sharing this information SyriaMiddle East – North Africa News to go further RSF_en Receive email alertscenter_img March 12, 2021 Find out more News News Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists Follow the news on Syria Organisation SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime lawlast_img read more