敘利亞–英國籍公民遭收押禁見,恐遭刑求

敘利亞–英國籍公民遭收押禁見,恐遭刑求

個案編號:UA 90/09
聲援對象:Maryam Kallis (女),36 歲,英國籍、Yasser Zahur Ahmed (男),28歲,英國籍
聲援期間:2009 年 3 月 30 日 – 6 月 23 日 (逾期請先向 AI 秘書處查詢)

目前得知,另一名英國公民Yasser Zahur Ahmed也在Maryam Kallis 被捕之後不久遭到逮捕,並且同樣無法與律師或家人聯絡,遭羈押在Damascus(大馬士革)Kafr Sousa區的拘留所。目前已得知兩人被控參與恐怖主義活動。

英國週報The Observer(觀察家報)於5月10日引述一名英國上議院議員,指出他從一位「敘利亞駐英大使館的高層官員口中得知,有英國政府單位 (並非英國外交部) 涉及羈押」Maryam Kallis及Yasser Ahmed。敘利亞駐英大使館回應表示,拘留Maryam Kallis及Yasser Ahmed是由於懷疑他們與al-Qaeda(蓋達組織)相關的「恐怖組織」有關連。他們聲稱「Kallis女士涉嫌收受資金… 並將資金轉交給[蓋達組織]。」

這是敘利亞當局第一次公開說明拘留Maryam Kallis及Yasser Ahmed的原因。他們二度獲准在敘利亞當局陪同下會見英國駐敘利亞領事館人員,但是在近兩個月的拘留期間,一直無法獲准會見家屬或取得法律代表的協助。由於持續與外界隔絕,他們仍有遭刑求及其他虐待之危險。

Yasser Ahmed在3月17日遭到逮捕,較Maryam Kallis被捕的時間晚兩天,地點為大馬士革Rukna al-Din區的一間語言學校 (Abi Noor Language Institute),他在那裡學習阿拉伯文已是第二年。他與妻子和5歲大的女兒一起到敘利亞,他以前在倫敦的工作是管理一所專為精神病患服務的收容中心。

Maryam Kallis於3月5日自英國抵達敘利亞,在2009年3月15日遭逮捕之前與姐妹同住。她回到敘利亞是為了接回她的 3 個孩子,他們與她的姐妹同住在大馬士革,年齡在 5 到 8 歲之間。她原先預計在3月底與孩子們一起回到倫敦,但在大馬士革的Rukna al-Din區遭到約10名便衣人員逮捕。她當時和 8 歲的兒子在一起。

背景資訊:

每年有數十人在敘利亞遭到逮捕,被指控為與恐怖主義活動有關連的伊斯蘭教徒。他們通常未經起訴即遭羈押禁見長達數周或數月,嚴重違反公平審判的國際標準。許多人在證據不足甚或完全沒有證據的情況下被定罪。有些人在法庭上指出他們是受到刑求或其他虐待,被迫「招供」,但是法庭並不對這些指控進行調查。

請儘速寄出信件,表達下列訴求:(可用英文、阿拉伯文、法文或漢文)

  • 呼籲當局立即無條件釋放 Maryam Kallis及Yasser Ahmed,否則應儘速以法定合理罪名將其起訴並予以公平審判;
  • 敦促當局保障 Maryam Kallis及Yasser Ahmed不受酷刑或其它虐待;
  • 歡迎 Maryam Kallis及Yasser Ahmed二度獲准會見英國領事的消息,並要求當局允許駐大馬士革的英國官員定期探訪,要求當局立即准許他們會見辯護律師和家屬。

請寫信給:

總統
His Excellency Bashar al-Assad
Presidential Palace
Al-Rashid Street
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
傳真:+ 963 11 332 3410
稱謂:總統閣下/Your Excellency
   
內政部長
His Excellency Major General Bassam Abdel Majid
Ministry of Interior
'Abd al-Rahman Shahbandar Street
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
傳真:+963 11 2223428
稱謂:部長閣下/Your Excellency
   
國防部長
His Excellency General Hassan Ali Turkmani
Ministry of Defence
Omayyad Square
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
傳真:+963 11 223 7842
稱謂:部長閣下/Your Excellency
   
司法部長
His Excellency Muhammad al-Ghafari
Ministry of Justice
Al-Nasr Street
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
傳真:+963 11 666 2460
稱謂:部長閣下/Your Excellency

** 郵資(NT$)**明信片 12元|信函(不逾10公克) 17元


PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 24/014/2009 12 May 2009
Further information on UA 90/09 (MDE 24/007/2009, 30 March 2009), and follow-ups (MDE 24/09/2009, 9 April 2009; MDE 24/012/2009, 6 May 2009) Fear of torture or other ill-treatmentSYRIA Maryam Kallis (f), aged 36, UK national
 New name: Yasser Zahur Ahmed (m), aged 28, UK national

Another UK national is now known to have been arrested shortly after Maryam Kallis. Like her, Yasser Zahur Ahmed is being held without access to a lawyer or to his family and without charge in a detention centre in the Kafr Sousa district of Damascus. Both are now known to be accused of involvement in terrorism.

On 10 May, UK Sunday newspaper The Observer quoted a member of the upper house of the British parliament as saying that he had been told by a "senior official at the Syrian Embassy in London that other British agencies – and not the Foreign Office – had been involved in the detention" of Maryam Kallis and Yasser Ahmed. The Syrian embassy in London responded by announcing that Maryam Kallis and Yasser Ahmed were being held on suspicion of connections with a "terrorist organisation" related to al-Qaeda. They claimed that "Ms Kallis is involved in receiving funds… and in conveying the funds to [al-Qaeda]."

This is the first time the Syrian authorities have made any public statement on their reasons for holding Maryam Kallis and Yasser Ahmed, who have been allowed two supervised visits from officials from the British Consulate, but have been denied their right to access to legal counsel and their families for almost two months. They remain at risk of torture and other ill-treatment given their continued isolation from the outside world.

Yasser Ahmed was arrested on 17 March, two days after Maryam Kallis, at the Abi Noor Language Institute in the Rukna al-Din area of Damascus, where he was in his second year studying Arabic. He had travelled to Syria with his wife and daughter, who is now aged five, in October 2006. Before he travelled to Syria, he had been managing a drop-in centre in London for people with mental health problems.

Maryam Kallis arrived in Syria from the UK on 5 March and was staying with her sister before her arrest, 10 days later. She had returned to Syria to collect her three children, aged between five and eight, who were staying in Damascus with her sister. She intended to return with them to London at the end of March but was arrested by 10 men in plain clothes in Damascus while with her eight-year-old son.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Dozens of people are arrested every year in Syria, accused of being Islamists linked in some way with terrorism. They are generally held incommunicado for weeks or months, before being tried and convicted in proceedings which fall far short of international standards for fair trial. Many are convicted on little or no evidence. Some of them say in court that they were forced to "confess" under torture or other ill-treatment, but the courts do not investigate these allegations.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English, Arabic, French or your own language:

  • calling on the authorities to release Maryam Kallis and Yasser Ahmed immediately and unconditionally unless they are to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and given a prompt and fair trial;
  • urging the authorities to ensure that Maryam Kallis and Yasser Ahmed are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated;
  • welcoming the fact that Maryam Kallis and Yasser Ahmed have been given access to British consular staff on two occasions, but urging the authorities to allow them regular visits from UK representatives in Damascus, and immediate access to their families and to lawyers of their choosing.

APPEALS TO:

President
His Excellency Bashar al-Assad
Presidential Palace
Al-Rashid Street
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: + 963 11 332 3410
Salutation: Your Excellency
   
Minister of Interior
His Excellency Sa’id Sammour
Ministry of Interior
‘Abd al-Rahman Shahbandar Street
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: +963 11 2223428
Salutation: Your Excellency
   
Minister of Defence
His Excellency General Hassan Ali Turkmani
Ministry of Defence
Omayyad Square
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: +963 11 223 7842
Salutation: Your Excellency
   
Minister of Justice
His Excellency Ahmad Yunis
Ministry of Justice
Al-Nasr Street
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: +963 11 666 2460
Salutation: Your Excellency
   
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Syria accredited to your country.
   
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.
Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 23 June 2009.
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