Syria: Walid al-Bunni | Letter

Re: Walid al-Bunni

To: His Excellency President Bashar al-Assad; His Excellency General Basam Abd Al-Majid, Minister of Interior; His Excellency Muhammad al-Ghafari, Minister of Justice

From: Michael M. Macaulay, LRWC

Date: 2009-07-02

LRWC has previously written you in regarding our concerns raised by the trial of Mr. Walid al-Bunni on June 3, 2009. We have been advised, by reliable sources, of the acquittal of Mr. Walid al-Bunni by the Second Military Court of Damascus on June 17, 2009 due to lack of evidence. Mr. al-Bunni had been accused of “weakening the national sentiment” by “issuing calls” or “spreading false or exaggerated information”.

While LRWC applauds Mr. al-Bunni’s acquittal, we remain concerned with his continued detention in Adra Prison, which appears to penalize Mr. al-Bunni’s work in relation to human rights. LRWC respectfully asks that Syrian authorities to guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. al-Bunni; release Mr. Al-Bunni immediately and unconditionally from his current arbitrary detention; and immediately put an end to any kind of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Walid al-Bunni, and all human rights defenders in Syria.

LRWC also wishes to remind Syrian authorities that the trial of Mr. al-Bunni before a military court is illegal, and that all civilians should be tried before a competent and impartial civil tribunal in accordance with internationally recognized standards of fairness, including the right to defence and the right to appeal.

Please advise LRWC by mail, e-mail or fax of all action being taken by your government to rectify this situation. LRWC will be monitoring the Mr. al-Bunni’s situation closely. A copy of this letter will be being forwarded to Canadian officials to alert them to of Mr. al-Bunni’s circumstances.

LRWC awaits your response.