Syrian Political Prisoners
Current FOR status: Discontinued. This is an archive of FOR’s work from 2008 to 2014.
Peace and Reconciliation For All Syrians — Free Syrian Prisoners of Conscience
Join us in taking action now to demand release of these nonviolent political prisoners. Sadly, the Syrian regime has imprisoned thousands of nonviolent activists. Read their stories below and consider spreading the word about the campaign by posting a link to this page on any social networks of which you’re a part.
Act urgently to release this political prisoner:
One day in March 2011, after Friday prayers in the coastal city of Banyas, he stood up and called to a crowd of people, “If you’re for freedom, come out with me!” Many followed him, making Banyas one of the first sites of unrest outside of Daraa, where the country’s uprising began. Anas was a strong leader in demonstrations because of his charisma, integrity, and commitment to nonviolent protest.
Anas, 23, didn’t hesitate to use his real name in reporting regime atrocities to international media. He was subjected to arbitrary detention on May 15, 2011, and remains incommunicado.
The lack of any channel of communication with Anas is distressing because the Syrian state is able to avoid acknowledgement of his prisoner status. This leaves him at high risk for ill-treatment and torture, to which he has likely already been subjected because of his charismatic role in the Banyas protests. According to the report published July 2012 by Human Rights Watch, 27 “detention centers” have been established as havens for the torture of political prisoners.
We must hold Syria accountable for the life and health of Anas Shughri. Supporters have alleged that he was held by military security in solitary confinement at a prison in Tartus, a city just south of Banyas, then transferred to the custody of state security in Damascus. We don’t know for sure because the state has been silent about his whereabouts.
Anas is from the town of Bayda, located in the countryside outside Banyas. The Syrian regime is claiming he is a “terrorist” who leads “armed gangs,” a story used to describe the entire country’s uprising in order to justify the crackdown on Syrian citizens. Yet Anas in particular is well known for having demonstrated a commitment to peaceful means of protest.
Previous political prisoner alerts:
- Hassan Mabrouka, 27, arbitrarily imprisoned in June 2011 from his family’s diner in Barzeh where he worked as a waiter because of a discussion at the restaurant about a peaceful protest where Hassan had voiced his support. Continues to be imprisoned.
- Islam Dabbas, 22, arrested in July 2011 after engaging in a nonviolent “fraternization” strategy by offering water bottles to soldiers, treating them as human beings with a choice, and in the process changing their hearts. Continues to be imprisoned.
What can families do on behalf of family members who have been arrested or detained?
The first step a family member needs to take is to contact an official office of the International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent (ICRC) and open an allegation of arrest. One simple method is to call an ICRC office via the telephone; their staff will ask you to come in for an interview or will send a form by email, fax or postal mail explaining the necessary documents and information that is needed.
The ICRC handles allegations of arrest it receives by communicating with the relevant governmental officials, working to research and clarify what has happened to the individuals concerned. ICRC representatives in the country where the prisoner is detained make every attempt to visit those detained or arrested as quickly as possible, in order to ensure that the conditions in which detainees are held complies with national and international standards. The information is then reported back to the family.
Family members in Syria should contact:
The International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Detention/Tracing Delegate
Abou Roumaneh - Rawda Square
Masr Street - PO Box 3579
Tel: +963 11 333 9034 or +963 11 331 0476
Fax: +963 11 331 0441
Syrian family members in the United States should contact:
Your nearest local American Red Cross chapter to obtain and fill out an allegation of arrest report. This will be filed as a Tracing Inquiry and will be forwarded to the International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent office in Damascus. You can also contact the international federation directly:
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Jakob Kellenberger, ICRC
P.O. Box 372
CH-1211 Geneva 19
Telephone: +41 22 730 42 22
Fax: +41 22 733 03 95
- Akram Raslam
- Dr. Bashar Farhat بشار فرحات
- Razen Zaitouneh
- Khalil Matouk خليل معتوق
- Dr. Muhammad Bashir Arab الدكتور محمد بشير العربية
- Terminology used with Syria’s political prisoners
- Hassan Mabrouka حسان مبروكة
- Alaa Shweiti
- Anas Shughri أنس شوغري
- Noura Al Jizawi ورة آل Jizawi
- Shapal (Chaabal) Ibrahim
- Yahya Shurbaji (Yahia Sharbaji) يحيى شربجي
- Amer Mohammad Hilmy عامر محمد حلمي
- Feras Muhammad Mandeel
- Karam Nabh
- Mazen Ziada
- Baraa Alabbar
- Islam Dabbas
- Karam Khartash
- Annas Sahen
- Mohamad Said Khoulani
- Noman Na'ufy
- Osama Matarmawi
- Basem Eido عيدو باسم
- Muhammad Ahmad Razzuq
- Muhammad Islam Ibrahim Masalmeh
- Salma and Amina Maghmoma