News from Damascus Central Prison, situated in the northern suburb of Adra, has relayed that a member of the political opposition Ali al-Abdullah, who has been detained since 17/12/2007 and was sentenced to two years and a half due to his membership of the Damascus Declaration, was once again transferred to the SSSC on Monday 19/4/2010.
This action came as an attempt to charge him due to rumours attributed to him in Damascus Central Prison in Adra where he is serving his sentence which ends 17/6/2010.
In the past few years, the Syrian Authorities have tended to transfer detainees who have already been sentenced to court once again, their charges based upon a discussion or conversation with prisoners working as informers for the prison’s office. Two years ago, the political opponent Kamal Labwani was transferred to court once again, and sentenced to three years, in addition to his initial sentence of 12 years. The detained lawyer Anwar al-Bunni, whose charge was revealed as false, was also re-transferred to court.
The detainee Ali al-Abdullah has been a subject of constant mistreatment from the Syrian Authorities since his arrest in May 2005, due to his recitation of a letter from the lawyer Ali Sadruddin al-Bayanouni (Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria) to the Jamal al-Attasi Forum for Democratic Discussion, which resulted in a six month detention. He was re-arrested with his son in March 2006 and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment due to his participation in a peaceful vigil in front of the SSSC. He was then arrested on 17/12/2007 with others from the leadership of the Damascus Declaration for Democratic Change.
Mr Ali al-Abdullah (1950) comes from the province of Deir al-Zawr and lives in rural Damascus. He graduated from the Philosophy Department of Damascus University in 1973 and worked as a journalist. He then committed himself to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) as a journalist, witnessing the siege of Beirut in 1981, and was subsequently hit by a bomb. This injury still impacts on his health to this day. Ali al-Abdullah then travelled to Tunisia, and returned to Syria in 1994, where he was arrested immediately in Damascus Airport due to an assumed involvement with the PLO. He was detained for six months.
The Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) views the act of spying on detainees and the attempt to implicate them in order to double their punishments as immoral and unprincipled. SHRC calls upon the Syrian Authorities to stop the transferral of Ali al-Abdullah to the SSSC and to release him immediately, alongside his colleagues of the Damascus Declaration and all political detainees and prisoners of conscience. SHRC also calls for an end to the imprisonment of citizens due to their expression of their views on general and current affairs
Syrian Human Rights Committee