Arbitrary detentions go on in Syria widely in villages, towns and cities, targeting whoever opposes the Regime and whoever is suspected of opposing it. In reality, the majority of arbitrary detentions do not have access to mass media and human organisations, particularly when the case is related to religious individuals, for they are secretly detained at night, and their families, who are threatened of detention and punitive measures, are reluctant to release the news. Arbitrary detention is practised by the Security and Intelligence Apparatuses spontaneously pursuant to the reports of the informants, false allegations fabricators and agents, which is contrary to the law. Nevertheless, the Authorities justify their actions on the pretext of the emergency state declared in Syria since 8 March 1963 on the allegation that the country is being exposed to foreign dangers.
As brief samples of arbitrary detention, patrols of Air force Military Intelligence raided, on 11 November 2006, numerous houses in the City of Homs arresting a number of citizens for their alleged affiliation to al-Tahrir Party. Among them were Ghazwan al-Shawwa, Jihad al-Kayyal, Bashir Abu al-Laban and Iyad al-Kharraz. The above-mentioned Intelligence continued its crackdown by arresting Hashim Bayerli and Musheer Abu al-Laban from the street two days later. On the 18th of the same month, a patrol of the Political Security Section attacked the clinic and dentist laboratory and arrested their owner Yaseen Hadeed and some of those working in the laboratory, for the same claim.
The teacher Muhammad al-As’ad and Yamen al-Taweel were arrested in the last week of August 2006 in the town of Salqeen in Idlib Province, because of their religious tendencies. For the same reason, the Palestinian citizen Maher Najmah was arrested in Yarmuk camp in Damascus on 17 August 2006. A patrol of Military Intelligence arrested Abdul-Aziz Rafee’ah, Abdul-Rahman Rafee’ah, ‘Umar Rafee’ah, Abdul-Rahman Yusfan, Abdul-Aziz Yusfan, ‘Adel Mahlimi and Abdul-Aziz Mahlimi from their homes in Alqamishli city on 20 November 2006 because of their religious orientations. On the morning of 15 November 2006, the doctor Muhammad Ali ‘Isa (29 years) was arrested because of his religious orientations to be followed by his brother Yusuf, just for his coming to the Intelligence Section to ask about him.
The Intelligence Forces launched a series of arrests in Ariha district among the youths returning after performing ‘Umrah in July 2007. They arrested Safwan Qaddoor and then Mus’ab al-Sheikh to be both transferred to Palestine Branch (Branch No. 235). Then Muhammad Qurabi was arrested along with Muhammad Skhatah, Muhammad Taku, Mohsen Taku and Iyad al-‘Adil, a minor below the legal age.
Late in October 2006, the Security Authorities launched a crackdown against those affiliated to the Salafi movement in the countryside of Idlib. Among the detainees were Maher Muhammad Abdul-Baqi (23 years), Abdul-Ghafoor Abdul-Baqi (22 years), Ahmad Abdul-Ghafoor Abdul-Baqi (24 years), Muhammad Marwan Abdul-Baqi (26 years) and Ma’moon Ahmad Fir’awn (28 years), all of whom are from Mohambel, along with Usama Nader ‘Asi, Abdul-Latif As’ad ‘Asi, Sa’ad Nafi’ ‘Asi, al-Qi’qa’ Nafi’ ‘Asi and their fourth brother, besides Sa’eed Ahmad ‘Asi, all of whom are from Ariha.
On 13 January 2007, the Syrian Authorities arrested ‘Umar Muhammad Bakkour (34 years) and his brother Sufyan Muhammad Bakkour (30 years) the sons of Muhammad Bakkour the opponent residing in Iraq. They both returned to Syria after arriving at a settlement in the spring of 2003. ‘Umar Muhammad Bakkour was released later on, but Sufyan is still detained as a hostage for his father although he does not belong to any political organisation and is not designated as an activist in the political or social field, nor did he do anything that justified his detention even in accordance with the Regime’s criteria, except for his being the son of an opponent. Sadiq al-Barazi, translator and former detainee, was arrested having been summoned to one of the security headquarters on the (20/11/2007). He was released on (26/12/2007) without any explanation of this random arrest.
Moreover, the detentions mentioned in the other chapters devoted to the Islamists, Kurds and the activists of the civil society and human rights and politicians are deemed arbitrary, illegal and unjustifiable.