Re: Radwan Ziadeh – Director, Damascus Centre for Human Rights Studies
To: H.E. President Bashar al-Assad and others
From: Michael M. Macaulay, LRWC
This letter is in regards to the prevention of Mr. Radwan Ziadeh from traveling outside of Syria on June 26, 2006. Mr. Ziadeh, the Director of the Damascus Centre for Human Rights Studies attempted to travel from Damascus to Amman, Jordan to participate in a human rights conference, but was stopped at the Syrian-Jordanian border by Syrian security forces. He was given no reason for being stopped and was simply told to go to Al-moukhabarat. This same day Syrian security forces visited Mr. Ziadeh’s house and inquired of his brother as the nature of Mr. Ziadeh’s travel to Jordan.
LRWC is once again troubled by your government’s harassment of human rights workers and the impact of this incident on freedom of expression in Syria. We wish to respectfully remind your government of its commitments under the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, specifically:
- Article 5(c), which protects the rights of individuals and groups to communicate with non-governmental or intergovernmental organizations on a national or international level;
- Article 6(b), requiring the protection of the right to publish, impart or disseminate views, information and knowledge on human rights and freedoms to others; and
- Article 6(c), protecting individuals’ right to study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance of all human rights and freedoms and to draw attention to these issues.
LRWC respectfully asks that your government immediately cease and desist all acts of harassment against Mr. Ziadeh and remove all restrictions currently placed on him. We also request that you guarantee Mr. Ziadeh, and all other human rights defenders, be allowed to carry out their work and participate in international human rights conferences and gatherings. LRWC also asks that your government bring its policies into conformity with all articles of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, particularly the fore-mentioned articles.
Please advise LRWC by mail, e-mail or fax of all steps being taken by your government to rectify Mr. Ziadeh’s situation. Also, please advise LRWC of any and all steps being taken to ensure that all international standards and covenants are being respected.
Thank you once again for your time and attention to our concerns. LRWC awaits your response.