The returnees and visitors to Syria suffer from the risks of being detained, interrogated and tortured. They are easy victims to give information, be manipulated and be subjected to the financial corruption characterising the intelligence apparatus and the Syrian security authorities. We cite as examples the detention of Abdullah Abdul-Rahman al-Zu’bi from Dar’a Province, who visited the country on 1 June 2006; the detention of Patricia Dabbour, who holds the Swiss nationality on 4 July 2007, when she visited the country, to be released later on; the detention of the university student in Yemen, Muhammad Salah al-Deen Abdul-Latif (20 years) from Aleppo on 12 July 2006, when he arrived in the country to spend the summer holiday there; the detention of Usama Muhammad Ali al-‘Allu (24 years), who resides with his family in the UAE, when he visited the country on 4 September 2006, and the detention of Muhammad al-Hariri and Husain al-Nabulsi (two Syrians) and Mahmud Husain Shuhaibir and Fathallah Husain Shuhaibir (two Palestinian residents) when they arrived coming from Libya on 17 November 2006, after 16-year detention in Libya because of their Sufism, to be released later on. On 10 December 2006, detention was the lot of Muhammad ‘Abdul-Hay Shalabi (64 years) from al-Tal in Rural Damascus immediately on his arrival from Saudi Arabia, despite the arrangement of his visit with the official authorities and despite his suffering from an incurable disease. On 30 December 2006, there was detained Husain Isma’il al-Dughaim, who came from Malta to visit his family in Idlib Province, and was deprived of the money he was carrying with him. As soon as he was released, he was arrested by another security body and his detention lasted for six months, and he is still forbidden to go back to his family in Malta, where he lives, works and holds its nationality. On his arrival in late December, 2006, to visit Syria coming from Saudi Arabia, where he works, the consultant doctor, Jihad Sha’ban Qabaqeebu (50 years) from Homs, was arrested although the visit had been arranged with the authorities, to be set free in the first half of July, 2007. There may be added Muhammad Usama Sayes, Abdul-Rahman al-Musa and Abul-Jabbar ‘Allawi, who have been already mentioned in the section on Law 49.
The above-mentioned examples are just a few of a large number of cases of detention and interrogation that are carried out against the visitors and returnees to Syria. Hardly is there a day without the occurrence of such law-violating events. The Syrian Human Rights Committee received several complaints during the last summer vacation on the nuisances experienced by some of the visitors to Syria, in particular those Iraqis who have proved that they had not been allowed entrance to Syria except after paying bribes to the officers and security personnel in Damascus International Airport. Some of them were detained for hours and days and some stories were forged against them and they were humiliated and mistreated when they refused to pay what they were asked to pay.