Assad Regime Tortures and ‘Disappears’ Palestinian Free Speech Advocate

Assad Regime Tortures and ‘Disappears’ Palestinian Free Speech Advocate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

Lest anyone forget, as Putin comes to the rescue of
Assad’s regime, the appalling human rights record of the Ba’athists in
Syria. 
Below is an article on the Electronic Intifada of Bassel
Khartabil who has been disappeared and severely tortured by Assad’s security
goons.
Tony Greenstein

free speech champion forcibly disappeared in Syria

More
than 30 prominent international human rights and free speech groups are calling
on the Syrian government to disclose the whereabouts of Bassel Khartabil, a
software developer of Palestinian origin who has been detained since 2012.
The
free speech advocate had been held in a central prison but his family believes
that he may have been transferred to one of the security forces’ “torture-rife”
facilities.
“Khartabil
managed to inform his family on 3 October that security officers had ordered
him to pack but did not reveal his destination,” the groups stated
on Wednesday
.
Khartabil
was held incommunicado for eight months after his March 2012 arrest, on the
first anniversary of the uprising in Syria, and was subjected to weeks of
torture.
The
groups protesting Khartabil’s forced disappearance include Amnesty
International
, Human Rights
Watch
, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Electronic
Frontier Foundation.
“International
law defines a disappearance as an action by state authorities to deprive a
person of their liberty and then refuse to provide information regarding the
person’s fate or whereabouts,” the organizations said.
They
added that before Khartabil’s arrest, “he used his technical expertise to help
advance freedom of speech and access to information via the Internet. Among
other projects, he founded Creative Commons Syria, a nonprofit organization
that enables people to share artistic and other work using free legal tools.”
Khartabil
has received international recognition for his work, including the 2013
Index on Censorship Digital Freedom Award
. He was named one of Foreign
Policy’s
Top
100 Global Thinkers
in 2012.
Khartabil
faces Military Field Court proceedings “for his peaceful activities in support
of freedom of expression,” the groups stated.
“Military
Field Courts in Syria are exceptional courts that have secret closed-door
proceedings and do not allow for the right to defense. According to accounts of
released detainees who appeared before them, the proceedings of these courts
were perfunctory, lasting minutes, and in absolute disregard of international
standards of minimum fairness,” the groups added.
Hundreds
of supporters have signed an online
petition
calling for Khartabil’s release.

 

 

 

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