The Role of the International Community
The Role of the International Community

The Role of the International Communityn htr f Syrin histry m t ls with th dth n Jun 10 f rsidnt fz l-sd, in wr sin 1970. h `th rty thn quikly rhstrtd th litil nd militry lvtin f his thirty-fur-yr-ld sn, shr, llwing itizns nly th hi f vting ys r n in n-ndidt rsidntil rfrndum hld n July 10. h Syrin nstitutin ls ws ditiusly mndd t lwr th minimum rquird g f th rsidnt, nd shr l-sd ws ltd with 97.27 rnt f th vt. h ritish-trind thmlgist hd lrdy bn dsigntd mmndr-in-hif f th rmd frs nd ltd ldr f th `th rty. midst grumbling but th ssibl nst f dynsti rul in Syri by th lwit minrity, mny nvrthlss hd tht th nw rsidnt wuld vntully brth lif int th untry`s ivil sity, stgnnt frm dds f n-rty rul. rir t his fthr`s dth, shr l-sd`s tin-rintd nthusism but mutr-bsd infrmtin thnlgy (h hdd th Syrin mutr Sity) nd his migns ginst ndmi ffiil rrutin wr wll ubliizd in Syri, rising ttins tht s rsidnt h might tkl litil s wll s nmi rfrm.
In nighbring Lbnn, nnts f Syri`s lng-trm dmintin f th untry hd thir wn hs, lling rtdly fr rssssmnt f th lsidd biltrl rltinshi nd rturn f full svrignty. It ws nt nly sd`s dth but Isrl`s rlir militry withdrwl frm uid suth Lbnn in y tht rmtd nd mbldnd Lbns ritis nd tivists, rtiulrly univrsity studnts, t rss dirtly nd ublily fr th withdrwl frm thir untry f ll Syrin trs nd surity frs.
With Isrli-Syrin ngtitins gin stlld, th Gln ights, whih Isrl nnd in 1981, rmind undr utin nd Isrli sttlmnt tivity thr ntinud.
Dsit th rsidntil sussin, Syrins ntinud t b dnid ivil nd litil rights. Frdm f rssin, ssitin, nd ssmbly wr stritly limitd in lw nd rti; th ll mdi nd ss t th Intrnt rmind stt-ntrlld; nd th rvsiv wrs f th surity frs undr th untry`s lng-stnding mrgny lw, in fr sin 1963, wr intt. hr wr n fftiv sfgurds ginst rbitrry rrst nd trtur; ivilin nd militry risns, inluding th infmus dmr in th lmyrn dsrt, rmind ff-limits t indndnt bsrvrs; nd th urdish minrity ntinud t b dnid bsi rights, inluding th right t ntinlity fr tns f thusnds. N n insid th untry drd t dvt justi nd untbility fr urrnt nd frmr gvrnmnt ffiils rsnsibl fr grss humn rights buss, inluding th mssr f ssibly s mny s 1,100 unrmd risnrs t dmr in 1980, nd th militry ssult n th ity f m in 1982 in whih thusnds wr killd.
Numrus Syrins livd in litil il brd. h hildrn f sm f ths blklistd frm rturning wr drivd f Syrin ntinlity nd in sm ss wr thnilly sttlss bus thy lkd ssrts. umn Rights Wth ntinud t riv infrmtin but Syrin ils wh wr rrstd, dtind, nd subsquntly frd t lv untris whr thy rsidd nd wrkd bus thy rrid,f nssity, frgd ssrts. s f this writing, thr wr n rrtd ubli inititivs by th gvrnmnt t ddrss this mjr litil nd humnitrin issu, whih fftd ntir fmilis, inluding wmn nd hildrn.
undrds f Syrin, lstinin, nd thr litil risnrs ntinud t b hld, but th gvrnmnt rvidd n ffiil figurs. In Jun 27 lttr t rsidnt-lt shr l-sd, mnsty Intrntinl stimtd th numbr f litil risnrs t 1,500 - f whm rimtly 800, mstly mmbrs r symthizrs f th uslim rthrhd but ls surtrs f th r-Irqi `th rty nd mmunists, wr blivd t b in dmr risn. nthr 560 risnrs wr hld in Sdny risn, nd tw hundrd in thr dtntin ntrs nd in Dum wmn`s risn, mnsty Intrntinl sid.
In wlm dvlmnt, rlss f litil risnrs, inluding humn rights tivists, tk l bfr nd ftr th dth f fz l-sd. w mmbrs f th mmunist tin rty, Fth Jmus nd bd l-rim sln, wh hd srvd sitn nd ightn-yr trms, rstivly, wr rrtd rlsd rir t fz l-sd`s dth. hr wr rrts tht sitn Jrdnin litil dtins wr frd in rh, nd nthr svntn during th nt svrl mnths, nd thr mmbrs f th uslim rthrhd wr rlsd in y. Syrin litil ils nfirmd tht `dzns` f litil dtins wr rlsd in Jun nd July, inluding thirty mmbrs f th uslim rthrhd; thr Jrdnins, inluding hlid wd wh hd srvd twlv yrs n litil hrgs; jurnlist Fisl llush frm th mmunist tin rty, wh ws rlsd ftr fiftn yrs in risn; nd tw mmbrs f th whid mvmnt, militry mmndr Smir l-ssn nd Lbns Sunni tivist shim inkr, frd ftr srving fiftn yrs.
n nti-rrutin mign lunhd by fz l-sd nd ntinud by his sn rsultd in rrsts nd nvitins f snir ffiils nd n llgd suiid. n y 10, frmr rim inistr hmud Zu`bi ws lld frm th `th rty bsd n llgtins f rrutin. hd bn rmvd frm ffi n rh 7 mid ustins f mismngmnt nd ws bnnd frm lving th untry. h intrir ministry sid n y 21 tht Zubi killd himslf whn th Dmsus li mmndr wnt t his hus t dlivr summns. is funrl ws nt ttndd by th rsidnt r mmbrs f th bint.
gru f thr dzn Syrin sitin figurs in il, lling itslf th mmitt f rdintin fr Dmry in Syri, ritiizd th nti-rrutin mign in Jun 10 sttmnt ublishd in l-Quds l-rbi, th Lndn-bsd n-rb dily. h ils, inluding Srkis Srkis, dib l-urni, nd Yusif bdlki, hrgd tht th rl urs f th mign ws t limint tntil nnts f shr l-sd. h gru ls lld fr th nling f mrgny lw, n unting fr th `disrd,` frdm f rssin, nd litil lurlism.
nthr ll fr litil rfrm nd humn rights m in Stmbr sttmnt signd by ninty-nin rminnt intlltuls, rtists, nd thrs rsiding in Syri nd brd tht rd in th Lbns dily l-Sfir. h sttmnt lld n th uthritis t nl mrgny lw, issu gnrl mnsty fr ll litil risnrs, llw litil ils t rturn, nd rgniz th rights t frdm f ssmbly, rss, nd inin. h signtris inludd nvlist bdl Rhmn unif, t dnis, nd hilshy rfssr Sdiq l-zm. rlir ls inludd Jun ditril in th n-rb dily l-yt fr intlltul nd rss frdms, nd July rqust frm Ibrhim bu Dqqh, humn rights dvisr t lstinin uthrity ldr Ysr rft, fr th rls f lstinin dtins. Frm irut, Lbns mmbr f rlimnt, utrs rb, lld fr n `ning f th fils` n sm tw hundrd Lbns knwn r sustd f bing imrisnd in Syri, sm f whm hd bn dtind withut tril fr vr fiftn yrs. h Jrdnin brnh f th rb rgniztin fr umn Rights ls lld fr th rls f sity-nin Jrdnins, s wll s Lbns nd lstinin risnrs.
In thr wlm dvlmnts, sm svnty-fiv frign jurnlists wr llwd grtr frdm thn rviusly t rrt frm Dmsus during fz l-sd`s funrl. shr l-sd ls drd msurs tht rvidd grtr Intrnt ss thrugh nntins in ffis, t lst tw rivt Intrnt fs in Dmsus, th sd Ntinl Librry, nd Dmsus Intrntinl irrt. h Syrin lmmunitins stblishmnt (S), th untry`s nly Intrnt srvi rvidr, still blkd ss t Isrli mtrils nd Syrin sitin Wb sits-suh s th Lndn-bsd Syrin Rights mmitt-nd nsrd ltrni mil. `In Syri w hv 5,000 subsribrs,` Ghssn Lhhm, vi-rsidnt f th Syrin mutr Sity, tld rss nfrn in irut n ril 15. `hs r minly mnis nd gvrnmnt institutins. W r wrking t inrs t 20,000 by th nd f th yr,` h sid, dding tht S wuld rmin th untry`s nly Intrnt rvidr. irut`s Dily Str rrtd n ril 17 tht it st SL2,400 (but U.S. $50) fr Intrnt subsribrs in Syri t riv fiftn hurs f ss mnthly, nd tht mmitt hd bn rtd `t nsidr llwing rivt mny t study litins frm l sking Intrnt ss in Syri.`
hy rsnt th wy Syri dls with Lbnn, thy dtst it nd rjt it....W r nt Syrin rvin.` uni ls ritiizd `dirt Syrin intrfrn in Lbns litis,` nd sid tht Lbns `rfus th rinil f r-fbritd vting lists in Dmsus` nd `rjt rrsting Lbns in Syrin risns.` wnt n: `hr r sm Lbns frs tht r gtting dr. hr r l wh bliv tht Syri is n nmy. Yu hv t f this rlity t b bl t slv th rblm.` w dys ltr, Lbns rsidnt mil Lhud ndmnd suh writing s `brkn rrd ... lyd with r-Isrli mtivtins.` ddd: `W ll knw tht suh lls nd thir timing d nt rflt intrst in rtting Lbnn`s svrignty nd indndn.`
h nt mnth, Lbns uthritis gt tugh with nti-Syri rtstrs nd rfrrd ight f thm t th militry urt. n ril 14, Lbns uthritis rrstd tw studnts, Nim Smni nd rk huir, nd lwyr, run Nsrni, nd usd thm f distributing mhlts ritil f th Syrin rsn in Lbnn. hy wr trid n ril 17 in th militry urt nd find fr `distributing mhlts hrmful t th gvrnmnt nd t its tis with sistrly untry.` n th dy f th tril, svrl dzn studnt rtstrs t th Justi l lshd with li nd fiv wr rrstd nd rfrrd t th militry urt. h Dily Str rrtd tht th dmnstrtrs `struk t li with thir fists nd hntd nti-Syrin slgns. `Syri gt ut f hr,` thy shutd.`
In Jun, uni nnd nthr ditril, this tim dirtd t Syrin frign ministr Fruq Shr` wh hd sid tht rssur frm mdi migns nd frign gvrnmnts wuld nt ld t th withdrwl f Syrin trs, whih h ntndd rvntd th rutin f strin strif in Lbnn. `llw us t mltly rjt yur wrds nd th wrds f sm Lbns trumts tht us th sm justifitin t dfnd th rsn f Syrin trs in Lbnn,` uni wrt. ddd tht it ws `nturl fr inistr Shr`t bliv jurnlism ds nt hvth right t lim it rrsnts th viws f itizns bus in Syri, s in similr rgims, jurnlism ds nt rrsnt ubli inin but tlks with th tngu f th ruling rgim.`
y Stmbr, th unil f rnit ishs, ld by trirh Nsrllh Sfir, ws nly lling fr th withdrwl f Syrin trs, whs rsn it sid `mbrrsss th Lbns.` In Stmbr 20 sttmnt th unil hrgd tht Syri`s `hgmny vrd ll Lbns institutins, dministrtins nd gvrnmnt drtmnts.` h trirh ldgd tht th ffrts wuld ntinu: `W r nt ging t b frightnd int siln. Nthing will bring this mign t hlt silly ftr th Isrli utin f suth Lbnn hs ndd.`

hr wr n llly bsd humn rights nngvrnmntl rgniztins (NGs) llwd t rt frly nd nly with th rttin f lgl sttus s NGs. ut tivists with th ln indndnt wthdg gru, th mmitts fr th Dfns f Dmrti Frdms nd umn Rights in Syri (DF), inluding svrl frmr dtins, nvnd `ublily` in Dmsus n Stmbr 15 fr th first tim in lvn yrs. hir urs, thy sid, ws t undrsr thir h fr dmrti trnsfrmtin in Syri. hy ltd nw brd f trusts, inluding ight rsns living in Syri nd thr in ur. kthm Niss, n ttrny wh ws rlsd in 1998 bus f r hlth, ws ltd rsidnt f th rgniztin.
n DF tivists, inluding Niss, hd bn trid in th stt surity urt in 1992 nd sntnd t trms rnging frm fiv t tn yrs f imrisnmnt. hbt urd nd ssm l-Shykh wr rlsd frm Sdny risn ftr thir sntns ird in rly 2000. hr thrs -jurnlist nd writr Nizr Nyuf, uhmmd li bib, nd fif uzhir-rmind imrisnd, Nyuf rrtdly in slitry nfinmnt in zz militry risn. h Wrld ssitin f Nwsrs dnid rrts tht Nyuf hd bn rlsd in ril, nd sid tht h `dmntly rfusd` n ffr f rls in hng fr signing sttmnt tht h wuld rlinquish ll humn rights wrds nd rfrin frm futur litil tivity. Nyuf, disbld yrs rlir by trtur undr intrrgtin nd t zz nd dmur militry risns, suffrd frm srius mdil rblms. Syrin uthritis ntinud t dny rrts tht Nyuf suffrd frm dgkin`s diss, frm f lymhti nr.
In Lbnn nd Frn, indndnt humn rights grus tivly mignd fr th rls f svrl hundrd Lbns thy knw r sustd wr bing hld in Syri risns. Whil nfirming rrts tht dzns f litil risnrs hd bn rlsd by lt July, DF`s ris-bsd sksmn Ghyth Niss sid tht th `risnr rls is rtil, nt th mrhnsiv n w wr hing fr.` Rrsnttivs f ightn humn rights rgniztins frm lstin nd r, unisi, gyt, nd thr rb untris wrt in Jun t th Ninth Rginl ngrss f th Syrin `th rty lling fr n nd t mrgny lw. h lttr sid tht hundrds f litil risnrs rlsd frm `grisly dtntin ntrs` wr `still drivd f thir ivil rights by rdr f th Surm Stt Surity urt. hy r rvntd frm trvling, thir mvmnts r rstritd, nd mny hv lst thir jbs.` h lttr lld n th uthritis `t mk th brv nd histri disin t d wy with litil dtntin n nd fr ll, rls ll litil risnrs, nd rstr t thm thir full ivil rights s gurntd by th Syrin nstitutin.`
Syrin uthritis ntinud t b unrsnsiv t lttrs frm umn Rights Wth, nd did nt rsnd sitivly t lng-stnding rqust t visit th untry t rry ut rsrh.

h Rl f th Intrntinl mmunity
Unitd Ntins
h Unitd Ntins dutinl, Sintifi nd ulturl rgniztin (UNS) lld ttntin n y 3, Wrld rss Frdm Dy, t th light f imrisnd Syrin humn rights tivists by wrding Nizr Nyuf, wh ws srving tn-yr risn trm dsit r hlth, th Guillrm n Wrld rss Frdm wrd.
urn Unin
n gin, humn rights wr nt dminnt nrn in urn rltins with Syri. h urn Unin ntinud t hld tlks with Dmsus with th im f nluding n ssitin grmnt by th yr 2010, rding t r irini, hd f th urn missin in Dmsus. rir t tw dys f tlks in Dmsus in Nvmbr 1999, irini tld gn Frn-rss tht humn rights wuld b `n imrtnt rt f th grmnt` nd wuld b disussd in ths mtings s wll. ut h smd t mut th mssg with th fllwing wrds: `h urn Unin, whs dlrd bjtivs r t strngthn Syri`s stbility nd rsrity, must tk int unt th lgitimt nrn f th Syrin uthritis nt t bring sil trubls in th wk f th rfrms.`
sd`s mmitmnt t sil nd nmi rfrm, nd t th strtgi hi f . ritin will, s n ld frind, sk t hl Syri in bth.`
Unitd Stts
U.S. rltins with Syri rmind lukwrm t bst, lthugh lintn dministrtin ffrts t brkr dl with Isrl ntinud, inluding mting in Gnv n rh 26 btwn rsidnt lintn nd rsidnt fz l-sd tht ws widly viwd s unsussful. Syri rmind n th U.S. list f `trrrist` untris, lthugh biltrl trd in 1999 ttlld $172.67 in U.S. rts t Syri nd $94.9 millin in Syrin rts t th U.S., rding t th Frign rd Divisin f th U.S. nsus uru.
h U.S. Stt Drtmnt bth ritiizd nd risd Syri in its ttrns f Glbl rrrism 1999 rrt, rlsd in ril 2000: `Syri ntinud t rvid sfhvn nd surt t svrl trrrist grus, sm f whih mintind trining ms r thr filitis n Syrin trritry. hmd Jibril`s ulr Frnt Librtin f lstinin-Gnrl mmnd (FL-G) nd th lstinin Islmi Jihd (IJ), fr ml, wr hdqurtrd in Dmsus. In dditin, Syri grntd wid vrity f trrrist grus-inluding S, th FL-G,nd th IJ-bsing rivilgs r rfug in rs f Lbnn`s k Vlly undr Syrin ntrl.` h rrt ls ntd, hwvr, tht th Syrin gvrnmnt `ntinud t rstrin thir intrntinl tivitis, instruting ldrs f trrrist rgniztins in Dmsus in ugust t rfrin frm militry tivitis nd limit thir tins slly t th litil rlm.`
n Dmbr 8, 1999, rsidnt lintn nnund tht rim inistr rk nd rsidnt l-sd hd grd t rsum Isrl-Syri ngtitins frm th int tht thy wr susndd in Jnury 1996. h tlks mmnd t mting n Dmbr 15, 1999, btwn rsidnt lintn, rim inistr rk nd Syrin Frign inistr Fruq l-Shr`, fllwd by tlks in Shhrdstwn, Wst Virgini, n Jnury 3-11, 2000.
Srtry f Stt dlin lbright sid n Jnury 17: `t th nd f th lst rund, it ws grd tht th Isrli-Syrin tlks wuld rsum n Jnury 19. th sids hv sin bn rviwing th sttus f th tlks nd th drft wrking dumnt. rsntly, thir rhs t th nt rund diffr, nd s rsult, thr is ging t b dly. In th mntim, h sid hs grd t snd rts t Wshingtn t mt us nd rvid thir mmnts n th drft.`
thr thn tht sd nd rk nd th rsidnt hv bttr sns tht thir intrsts r ithr rnilbl r irrnilbl, tht will b, I think, usful; thy`ll h mk disins bsd n tht.` n th flight, n unnmd snir lintn dministrtin ffiil rvidd dditinl bkgrund but th U.S. viw: `I think it is imrtnt fr th Syrin gvrnmnt t nvy nd dmnstrt t th l f Isrl tht if, in ft, thy giv u sm r ll f th Gln ights. . . .thy will gin frm tht qulittivly diffrnt rltinshi with Syri, whih invlvs gnuin dilgu hng, t l-t-l lvl s wll mmril lvl nd thrwis.` h Whit us rlsd ths rmrks s rt f th ffiil trnsrit f th rss brifing.
In y 8 sh in Wshingtn t th nti-Dfmtin Lgu, ssistnt Srtry fr Nr strn ffirs dwrd Wlkr md lr th U.S. nd Isrli rh t th ngtitin. sttd: `Dsit diffiultis, w hv nt givn u n th Syrin trk. ut ngtiting th futur f th Gln ights is risky businss fr Isrl. W rgniz tht nly n grmnt tht nhns Isrl`s surity will b tbl t Isrlis nd th Unitd Stts. t th sm tim, wy must b fund t mt th nds f th Syrin sid s wll. It wuld b grt mistk t ssum tht th Syrins d nt, in thir wn wy, f signifint risks in rhing . hrfr, s lng s bth Isrlis nd Syrins r still intrstd in finding wy frwrd, nd w bliv tht ntinus t b th s, th Unitd Stts will rsist in ur ffrts t hl thm.`
urs invlvd in suring ngrssinl id sid tht mbind id kg fr bth Isrl nd Syri wuld b rvd bus it will b diffiult fr mmbrs f ngrss t s suh kg.` h rtil ntd tht Isrl hd rqustd $17 billin in U.S. militry ssistn t finn its withdrwl frm th Gln ights.
t fr rfrn in n tbr 14, 1999, sh by Srtry f Stt dlin lbright t humn rights dfndr Nizr Nyuf bing `nr dth ftr yrs f slitry nfinmnt, trtur, nd nglt,` th lintn dministrtin did nt ris Syri`s humn rights rtis ublily nd rssd stisftin t th ful trnsitin t wr f shr l-sd. skd bfr sh drtd fr fz l-sd`s funrl if sh wuld ris humn rights nrns, lbright suggstd tht suh mssg wuld b inrrit. `I think tht it`s imrtnt fr Dr. shr sd t ... tk n th mntl nd fr th trnsitin rss t b ursud,` lbright sid. `Frm wht w`v sn in th st twnty-fur hurs ... it lks lik ful trnsitin. It is imrtnt tht it b ful.`
Rslutin 425,` nd sid it ws `vry imrtnt fr ll rtis invlvd in tht t rry ut thir bligtins vis-&grv;-vis 425. I wuld h vry muh tht th Lbns rmy wuld bgin t mv int Suthrn Lbnn nd tht th Lbns wuld tk ntrl vr thir wn trritry nd ll frign frs wuld drt.` Sh ddd tht Lbnn wuld b disussd in hr mting tht dy with Syrin Frign inistr Fruq Shr`:
`W`r ging t tlk but Lbnn nd I think but mking sur tht vrybdy fulfills thir bligtins rding t 425. s I`v sid, th Syrins hv bn rtiv nd I think it is vry imrtnt tht ll rtis d in ft fllw thrugh n thir bligtins-ths r intrntinl bligtins-th Isrlis hv livd u t thm, I think it wuld b gd if vrybdy ls did ls.`
Syri: risnr Rlss Wlmd


(Nw Yrk, July 27, 2000) umn Rights Wth tdy wlmd th nws tht sm litil risnrs in Syri wr bing rlsd, nd urgd th gvrnmnt t disls thir nms. h rlss wr rrtdly rdrd by shr l-sd, wh tk th th f ffi s rsidnt n July 17.         
    
Rltd tril
Syri: Rls Imrisnd Rights Dfndrs
RW rss Rls, tbr 25, 1999
Syri: unt fr th `Disrd`
RW rss Rls, Nvmbr 9, 1999
    

`his is sitiv st, nd w h it is th bginning f rss tht will finlly mty Syrin jils f ths unjustly imrisnd.`
nny glly
utiv Dirtr iddl st nd Nrth fri Divisin
        
`his is sitiv st, nd w h it is th bginning f rss tht will finlly mty Syrin jils f ths unjustly imrisnd,` sid nny glly, utiv dirtr f th iddl st nd Nrth fri divisin f umn Rights Wth. `h gvrnmnt shuld ls immditly mk ubli th nms f ths rlsd.`
It ws nt knwn if thr Syrin humn rights tivists wr mng ths bing frd. Nizr Nyuf, fif uzhir, nd uhmd li bib r srving lng risn sntns imsd in 1992, fllwing unfir trils in th stt surity urt. h thr mn wr tiv in fldging humn rights ntwrk in Syri knwn s th mmitts fr th Dfns f Dmrti Frdms nd umn Rights in Syri (DF). Nyuf ws sntnd t tn yrs, nd uzhir nd bib t nin yrs. Nyuf, wh is hld in zz militry risn, is knwn t b in r hlth. vr th lst svrl yrs umn Rights Wth nd thr intrntinl rgniztins hv mignd fr his rls n humnitrin grunds.
Frdm f rssin nd ssitin hv bn svrly rstritd in Syri, nd thusnds wr imrisnd in th lst tw dds fr th bl ris f ths rights, mny fr mmbrshi in unuthrizd litil rgniztins. Syri hs n lw rmitting th lgl stblishmnt f litil rtis, whih frd sitin grus t rt lndstinly.
rsidntil mnstis hv stdily rdud th numbr f Syrin litil risnrs t th urrnt lvl f rimtly 1,500 t 1,600, mny f thm rbitrrily rrstd nd dtind, trturd, nd unfirly r srtly trid. In dditin, thr r ssibly hundrds r mr risnrs f Lbns, lstinin nd thr ntinlitis wh wr `disrd` in Lbnn nd r knwn r blivd t b in Syrin ustdy.
`h gvrnmnt shuld ntinu t idntify ll rsns imrisnd fr nnvilnt litil ffnss nd rls thm immditly,` glly ddd.
umn Rights Wth ls rmmndd tht th gvrnmnt tk immdit sts t filitt th rsumtin f nrml livs by frmr risnrs. It sid tht th rti f rbitrrily dnying ssrts shuld m t n nd, nd tht th drivtin f ivil rights tht mnid sntns hndd dwn by th stt surity urt shuld b rsindd. h rtil fft f th rights bn, whih undr Syrin lw bgins frm th dy f sntning t tn yrs ftr th irtin f th sntn, is tht suh individuls nnt vt, run fr ffi, srv in th unils f syndits, r wrk in th ubli str.         

Disrns` in Lbnn
Lbns nd Syrin Gvrnmnts Urgd t t

(Nw Yrk, ril 13, 2000) umn Rights Wth tdy lld n th Lbns gvrnmnt t mmit dqut tim nd rsurs t fftivly invstigt th ss f n stimtd 17,000 Lbns ivilins wh wr kidnd r `disrd` during th ivil wr f 1975-90. h rgniztin md its ll n th twnty-fifth nnivrsry f th strt f th wr.         
    
Rltd tril
Syri/Lbnn--Disrns in Lbnn by Syrin Surity Frs
RW Rrt, y 29, 1997
Lttr t rsidnt sd
RW ffil Lttr, Nvmbr 4, 1999
Syri: unt fr th `Disrd`
RW rss Rls, Nvmbr 9, 1999
    

`h Lbns nd Syrin gvrnmnts shuld us this nnivrsry t mmit thmslvs t srius invstigtins.`
nny glly
utiv Dirtr
iddl st nd Nrth fri Divisin
        
Lbns uthritis shuld ls invstigt th ss f Lbns itizns nd sttlss lstinins wh `disrd` in Lbnn ftr 1990, nd r knwn r blivd t b imrisnd in Syri, umn Rights Wth sid.
`h fmilis f th #8216;disrd` r still witing fr nswrs,` sid nny glly, utiv dirtr f th iddl st nd Nrth fri divisin f umn Rights Wth. `h Lbns nd Syrin gvrnmnts shuld us this nnivrsry t mmit thmslvs t srius invstigtins.`
In rsns t vl grss-rts mvmnt in Lbnn tht hs bn rssing fr ffiil invstigtins f th ss f ths wh wnt missing during th ivil wr, th gvrnmnt in Jnury 2000 stblishd n ffiil mmissin f inquiry msd f fiv militry nd intllign ffirs. h mmissin ws hrgd with rrting its findings t rim inistr Slim l-ss within thr mnths. umn Rights Wth urgd th mmissin t mmit dqut tim nd rsurs t th nrmus tsk f invstigtin.
`h mmissin nnt nivbly dtrmin th ft r whrbuts f 17,000 l in suh shrt tim,` glly sid. `ywitnss tstimny nd thr vidn must b rfully lltd n s by s bsis in rdr t unt fr h missing rsn. hs ssignd this imrtnt wrk must hv mlt indndn, nd b rvidd with th stff nd thr rsurs rquird t rry ut thrugh, fftiv, nd trnsrnt invstigtins in whih th ubli will hv nfidn.`
umn Rights Wth ls lld n th Syrin gvrnmnt t unt fully fr ll `disrd` individuls wh r in its ustdy, t mk ubli th nms f individuls hld in Syri, nd t rls immditly nd unnditinlly ths wh r unlwfully dtind. glly urgd th Lbns gvrnmnt t n th fils n ths vitims nd ursu thir ss vigrusly with th Syrin uthritis.
umn Rights Wth hs writtn rtdly t Syrin ffiils n bhlf f sm f th fmilis f th `disrd,` but hs rivd n rlis.
`Disrns` r mng grvst rims in intrntinl lw nd my nstitut rims ginst humnity, whthr mmittd in tims f wr r tims f . h Dlrtin n th rttin f ll rsns frm nfrd Disrns, whih ws dtd by th Unitd Ntins Gnrl ssmbly n 18 Dmbr 1992, stts tht invstigtin f s f `disrn` shuld b bl t b ndutd fr s lng s th ft f th vitim f nfrd disrn rmins unlrifid (rtil 13.6). h dlrtin ls stts tht rsns wh hv r r llgd t hv mmittd ths ffnss `shll nt bnfit frm ny sil mnsty lw r similr msurs tht might hv th fft f mting thm frm ny riminl rdings r sntin.` (rtil 18.1)         


umn Rights Dvlmnts
`I d nt g int th risns, but I bliv tht thr r nt mny risnrs ny mr,` rsidnt fz l-sd sid in n intrviw with th Frnh tlvisin sttin F-1 in Dmsus n July 11, th wk bfr his ffiil stt visit t Frn. Indd, thr wr wlm rlss during th yr f 121 Lbns litil risnrs nd n unnfirmd numbr f Syrins. ut th undrlying fturs f Syri`s blk humn rights lnds did nt hng. mrgny lw rmind in fr, ful rssin nd ssitin wr riminlizd, nwsrs nd thr mdi wr tightly ntrlld, nd n litil will ws vidnd t nurg th dvlmnt f indndnt institutins f ivil sity. hr wr n lgl mhnisms by whih sitin grus uld rt frly s litil rtis, nd th rsts fr timly nd fftiv mnitring f humn rights nditins wr svrly irumsribd. risnrs wh rfusd t mrmis thir litil rinils ntinud t b trtd with rulty, nd thir fmilis nd surtrs fund it dingly diffiult t mmunit infrmtin t th utsid wrld.
In y, in dvn f rsidnt sd`s July 16-18 tri t ris fr mtings with rsidnt Jqus hir nd rim inistr Linl Jsin, t lst thirty Syrin litil risnrs wr rlsd, inluding svrl whs ss wr wll-knwn intrntinlly. hr wr unnfirmd rrts tht svrl hundrd thrs hd ls bn st fr. mng ths knwn t hv bn rlsd ws lwyr Rid l-urk, ldr f th unuthrizd mmunist rty litil uru, wh hd bn hld withut hrg nd in slitry nfinmnt sin his rrst in tbr 1980. rding t infrmtin tht rhd umn Rights Wth, l-urk ndurd trmly hrsh nditins nd ws llwd bks nd nwsrs nly during th lst tw yrs f his imrisnmnt. ls rlsd ws ustf wfiq Fllh, wh ws rrstd in 1970, trid by th Surm Stt Surity urt th nt yr, nd sntnd t fiftn yrs in risn fr nsiring t vrthrw th gvrnmnt. Fllh`s imrisnmnt ntinud ftr th iry f his sntn in 1985 nd his hlth dtrirtd. Lwyr nd humn rights dvt kthm Nuiss, lding figur in th indndnt mmitts fr th Dfns f Dmrti Frdms nd umn Rights in Syri (DF), gind his frdm t. Nuiss ws rrstd in Dmbr 1991, trid by th surity urt in rh 1992 with thr DF mmbrs, nd sntnd t nin yrs in risn fr mmbrshi in n illgl rgniztin, mng thr ffnss. hd bn trturd nd injurd undr intrrgtin nd suffrd r hlth in risn.
Fr th hundrds f litil risnrs wh rmind bhind brs, thr wr rrts thrughut th yr f grss mdil nglt. mnsty Intrntinl lld ttntin t th dtrirting hlth f sm f ths risnrs, mny f thm srving tn- t fiftn-yr sntns imsd ftr unfir trils in th surity urt, whs disins nnt b ld t highr tribunl. st wr in dr nd Sdny risns, but sity-yr-ld lwyr bdllh Qbbr, hrni dibti wh ws sntnd t fiftn yrs in 1994, ws hld in th infmus dmr militry risn. In Stmbr, wrd rhd th intrntinl mmunity tht Nizr Nyuf, th thirty-si-yr-ld writr nd humn rights tivist srving tn-yr sntn t zz militry risn in Dmsus, hd bn dignsd with dgkin`s diss. rding t infrmtin tht umn Rights Wth rivd, uthritis md rvisin f mdil r t Nyuf nditinl n his ldg t rfrin frm ll litil tivitis, nd his signd sttmnt nnuning th disslutin f DF.
Nyuf, funding mmbr nd srtry gnrl f DF, ws driving fr bhind th rgniztin nd strng dvt tht th gru mintin its indndn frm Syri`s vrius unuthrizd litil rtis. ws rrstd in Jnury 1992, during th stt`s rkdwn n th nsnt DF ntwrk nd ftr his wif nd infnt dughtr hd bn rrstd t fr his surrndr. ws trturd in dtntin t th Syrin ilitry Intllign`s lstin rnh, nd trid with kthm Nuiss nd thr DF mmbrs in th surity urt. Nyuf ws sntnd in rh 1992, drwing th lngst risn trm, fr funding nd lding `n unlwful rgniztin, tivtd t shk ubli nfidn in th rvlutin nd th rgim,` nd ublishing `fls infrmtin` nrning humn viltins in Syri. With th nws f his lif-thrtning illnss, intrntinl humn rights rgniztins rllid t ubliiz Nyuf`s light, urging th Syrin gvrnmnt immditly t rvid silizd mdil r withut nditins, rls him n humnitrin grunds, nd rmit him t lv Syri fr mdil trtmnt brd, if nssry. s f tbr 23, thr wr n rlis frm Syrin uthritis but this s.
s in st yrs, litil risnrs wr hld bynd th iry f thir sntns. Sm f thm, rrstd in th rly 1980s, hd bn dtind withut hrg fr mny yrs nd thn rsutd nd nvitd in th surity urt fr mmbrshi in unuthrizd litil rtis, in lgl rdings tht nludd in 1993 nd 1994. In ril, umn Rights Wth rivd infrmtin frm Syri tht nin litil risnrs-wh hd mltd risn sntns rnging frm ight t fiftn yrs-wr bing hld in dmr bynd th iry f thir trms. ight f thm-ustf l-ussin, Usm shur, bdl rim Iss, l-rith l-Nbhn, dib l-Jni, ussin Sibrni, ysir ssun, nd ssm dur -- wr th subjt f lttr tht umn Rights Wth snt t rsidnt sd in Fbrury 1996 but whih wnt unnswrd. hy nd thirtn thr risnrs, mst f whm t tht tim hd mltd r wr ls t mlting thir sntns, hd bn trnsfrrd t dmr bus f thir rfusl t sign writtn sttmnts f surt fr th gvrnmnt nd rudit thir st litil tivitis. It rd tht ths ight risnrs ntinud t b dtind bus thy rfusd t sign lylty ths s nditin fr rls.
Rlsd litil risnrs ls fd frmidbl bstls t rsuming nrml livs. Syri`s nl d stris f thir ivil rights ( huquq mdniyy ) rsns nvitd f riminl ffnss nd sntnd t imrisnmnt with tmrry hrd lbr, frm th dy f sntning t tn yrs ftr th irtin f thir sntns. his rvisin brs ths individuls frm vting, running fr ffi, srving in unils f syndits r sts, nd wrking in gvrnmnt jbs. his sntin hs ls rrtdly bn usd t rvnt frmr risnrs frm ntinuing studis t univrsitis thy wr ttnding t th tim f thir rrst.
Syri mintind its trs, surity frs, nd rvsiv influn in Lbnn, rl tht ws frmlly mntd by tw biltrl ts: th y 1991 rty f rthrhd, rtin nd rdintin, nd th Stmbr 1991 Dfns nd Surity grmnt. n Stmbr 12, th dirtr-gnrl f th stt-ntrlld Syrin dily nwsr l-hwr lmbstd Ghssn uni, ditr f th indndnt Lbns dily l-Nhr , in frnt-g rtil fr ditrils ritil f th Syrin rl in Lbnn. In suh n intimidting tmshr, it rmind diffiult fr mst Lbns t ritiiz dirtly nd ublily Syri`s ubiquitus, dminting rsn, nd th Lbns mdi ithr did nt ddrss th issu r nly did s sinlly in th mst irumst r indirt mnnr. Syrin ffiils ls ublily qutd nti-Syrin sntimnts in Lbnn with surt fr Isrl. n Jun 22, fr ml, Syrin vi rsidnt bdl lim hddm mmntd minusly n Syrin stt tlvisin tht: `ll Lbns litiins, whthr in wr r in th sitin, r llis f Syri.` ddd: `ll th Lbns r ur frinds, t ths wh llbrt with Isrl.`
ut with rst t th issu f `disrns` in Lbnn, rblm dirtly linkd t th Syrin rl, Lbns urgusly m frwrd in 1998 in ubli vnts in ris nd irut t dmnd untbility frm th Syrin gvrnmnt. In Frn, Lbns tivists, with surt frm th ris-bsd nngvrnmntl Frn-Lbns rgniztin SLID ( Sutin u Libnis D&ut;tnus rbitrirmnt ) s wll s intrntinl rgniztins, rgnizd Wk f tin nd Surt fr Lbns Dtins in Syrin risns, frm Jnury 26 t Fbrury 1. ighly visibl vnts inludd rss nfrn, ubli tstimny by rltivs f th `disrd,` nd mtings with Frnh nd urn gvrnmnt ffiils.
In th ftrmth f this ubli dvy, rh brught th wlm rls f 121 Lbns wh hd bn imrisnd in Syri withut ffiil knwldgmnt f thir dtntin r whrbuts. ut n unknwn numbr f Lbns, sttlss lstinins, nd thr frign ntinls rmind `disrd,` utsid th rttin f th lw. mng thm wr tw Lbns rists, Sulimn bi hlil nd lbrt Shrfn, bth f whm `disrd` in Lbnn in tbr 1990. nthr ws utrs hwnd, wll-knwn nd influntil mmbr f th litil buru f th hlng rty, wh ws bdutd nr his hm in th Sin l-Fil nighbrhd f irut by gru f mn in ivilin lths n Stmbr 15, 1992. n ril 2, Lbns humn rights rgniztins hld rss nfrn in irut, rlsing th nms f 228 Lbns thy sid wr imrisnd in Syri, sm f thm sin 1978. ut Syrin uthritis wr df t ls frm Lbns nd intrntinl rgniztins t rvid th nms f ll ths hld nd disls ublily thir whrbuts nd th full dtils f thir ss.
umn Rights Wth ws unwr f gvrnmnt tins t rmdy th rblm f Syri-brn urds it hs rndrd sttlss, ultin tht numbrd 142,465 by th stt`s wn unt in 1996, r t ddrss systmti disrimintin ginst th urdish minrity, whthr itizns r sttlss. urds mris th lrgst nn-rb thni gru, numbring but 8.5 t 10 rnt f Syri`s ultin f lmst 14 millin.

Dsit n nlin nntin stblishd in 1997 nd frqunt r-Intrnt sttmnts, Syri rmins th nly nntd untry in th rgin tht hs yt t llw its ubli ll ss t th Intrnt. ut fw thusnd mdms r sid t b in Syrin hnds, llwing ths wh hv ss t thm t mintin Intrnt unts with ISs in Lbnn nd lswhr.(111) Syrins wh r bl t trvl t nighbring Jrdn r Lbnn n trniz ybrf&ut;s; nn ist in Syri.
h gvrnmnt f rsidnt fz l-sd did nt rsnd t umn Rights Wth`s lttr rqusting infrmtin n Intrnt liis. Its g-slw rh is nsistnt hwvr with its ffrts t surss ll frms f rssin dmd ritil f hw th untry is gvrnd. ll nwsrs nd brdst mdi r tightly ntrlld, nd hundrds f litil risnrs rmin bhind brs, mny f thm srving lng trms fr ful dissnt.(112)
Intrnt nntins t symbli rts.`(113) Sin 1997, sm ffiil nd smi-ffiil Syrin institutins hv bn linkd t th Intrnt. Sm hv stblishd rsn n th Wb, inluding th Syrin rb Nws gny (), ishrin dily (), nd th Syrin mutr Sity ().
Syri`s mst rminnt dvt f th Intrnt is shr l-sd, th rsidnt`s sn. hirs th Syrin mutr Sity. rding t n nws rrt, shr`s sitin in fvr f ubli ss t th Intrnt hs bn sd by surity nd intllign ffiils.(114)
sksmn fr th Syrin mutr Sity, Sdllh gh l-l, justifid th slw rh t tnding ss bynd stt institutins. `ur rblm is...w r trditinl sity, nd w hv t knw if thr is smthing tht nnt fit with ur sity. W hv t mk it sf.` ddd, `W wnt t hv Intrnt with minimum f rblms, s th slutin ws t g by stgs. Whr th nd is mst imrtnt, in univrsitis, ntrs f rsrh, ministris f nmy...ll ths sits r nntd nw.` l insistd tht th gvrnmnt`s rlutn t n u Syri t th Intrnt rfltd sil nrn but Intrnt ntnt rthr thn litil frs but th fr hng f infrmtin.(115)
In n rtil symthtilly lining Syri`s `utius` rh t th Intrnt, mr Slm, -fundr f th SS, wrt:
In rdr fr rsidnt ssd t fl mfrtbl rmting rtiulr thnlgy, it must mt th fllwing ritri:
1. It shuld bnfit th mjrity f th Syrin l. hnlgy grd twrd th lit is nt fvrd bus suh l hv th rsurs nd mns t gt wht thy wnt withut gvrnmnt ssistn.
2. It shuld nt disrut th sil strutur r dvrsly fft th middl lss, nd must b within th mns f th msss.
3. It shuld hv dirt imt n Syri`s vrll sil nd nmi dvlmnt.
4. It shuld nt jrdiz Syrin indndn r surity nrns.(116)
rding t n nws rrt, th fw Syrins wh hv ss t th Intrnt bus thy wrk t nntd stt institutins d nt hv unfttrd ss: Syri`s sl srvi rvidr, th mnly Syrin lmmunitins stblishmnt (S), blks ss t wb sits ntining infrmtin r iturs dmd ffnsiv.(117) umn Rights Wth hs n infrmtin nrning th ty f ntnt tht is blkd. s ntd bv, th Syrin gvrnmnt nd th Syrin mutr Sity did nt rsnd t writtn quris frm umn Rights Wth nrning rstritins n Wb ss nd ntnt.
In rly 1999 thr wr n gin rss rrts tht ubli ss ws imminnt. Rutrs rrtd tht ubli dmsti -mil srvi wuld b md vilbl n limitd bsis in Fbrury, but wuld b vi sil srvr t th stt tlmmunitins ntr tht `wuld llw ntrl f inming nd utging srvis, inluding th bility t blk ntt with dstintins rgrdd s undsirbl.`(118) s f y 1999, ubli ss ws still unvilbl.

UN RIGS DVLNS


rsidnt shr l-sd`s gvrnmnt lunhd rkdwn n ful but utskn dvts f rfrm in ugust, snding lr mssg tht it wuld tlrt litil ning nly n its wn trms nd rding t its wn timtbl. uthritis rrstd lding ritis nd thrs tiv in th frwhling disussin grus, r ivil sity frums, tht mrgd s Syrins sught t lim frdms tht hd bn dnid thm during th thirty-yr rul f frmr rsidnt fz l-sd. h rrsts rvrsd trnd twrd grtr nnss in untry lng dmintd by th ruling rb `th Silist rty nd institutins it ntrls, nd fllwd rlir sitiv dvlmnts. hs inludd th rls f sm si hundrd litil risnrs undr rsidntil mnsty in Nvmbr 2000, Jnury 2001 nnunmnt tht th mrgny lw in fr sin 1963 ws `frzn` nd `nt lid,` nd th rls in y 2001 f Nizr Nyuf, thn th lst rmining imrisnd humn rights tivist. In dditin, th gvrnmnt initilly rld sm ntrls n th rss, but in Stmbr intrdud tugh nw dr tht rgultd th rss nd thr ublitins s rt f widr strtgy t ntrl ritil rssin.
h rkdwn bgn with th rrst f mun l-msi, n indndnt mmbr f rlimnt, n ugust 9. rviusly, th uthritis did nt knwldg r giv rsns fr dtntins, but in this s th Intrir inistry nfirmd l-msi`s rrst n ugust 10, hrging tht list f litil dmnds tht h hd issud ublily n ugust 7, whn mmning hungr strik t his ffi, nstitutd `n ttmt t hng th nstitutin by illgl mns, trying t st th uthritis frm rrying ut thir dutis mntind in th lw, trying t hrm ntinl unity, dfming th stt nd insulting th lgisltiv, utiv nd judiil uthritis.` h ministry ls llgd tht l-msi wd lmst U.S. $1 millin in bk ts nd hd issud his ll fr litil hngs, rnging frm th lifting f th mrgny lw t strngr nti-rrutin msurs, in rdr t rtry himslf `s litil vitim whrs in ft h is smn usd f rim.` l-msi`s tril bgn in Dmsus riminl urt n tbr 30, nd ntinud s f mid-Nvmbr.
n Stmbr 1, th uthritis rrstd svnty-n-yr-ld Rid l-urk, hd f th unuthrizd mmunist rty litil uru nd ssibly Syri`s bst knwn frmr litil risnr. ffiil surs sid h hd bn dtind `in rdn with Syrin riminl nd nl rdur lw.` h gvrnmnt`s l-hwrh nwsr rrtd n Stmbr 5 tht h hd `rssd viws tht nrh un th nstitutin, vilt th gnrl lw, nd dfm th stt.` y mid-Nvmbr, l-urk ws still bing hld, rrtdly witing tril in th Stt Surity urt, whs rdurs d nt stisfy intrntinl fir tril stndrds, inluding th right f l t highr tribunl.
h uthritis nt dtind Rid l-Sif, nthr mmbr f rlimnt nd vl hmin f litil rfrm, n Stmbr 6. ws ltr hrgd, rding t his lwyr, with `sking t hng th nstitutin thrugh illgl mns,` `initing intr-rligius divisin,` `frming srt sity,` nd `rgnizing subvrsiv mtings` nd `gthrings imd t using disrdr.` h dy bfr l-Sif`s rrst, hundrds f l hd ttndd th Ntinl Dilgu Frum, wkly litil gthring tht h hstd t his hm. l-Sif susndd th frum in rh nd nd it in Stmbr nly ftr h ws unbl t btin n ffiil rmit. hd ls lnnd t lunh nw litil rty, th vmnt fr Sil , with ltfrm tht inludd nding th `th rty`s gri n litil wr. In Fbrury, rsutr hd qustind l-Sif but th rsd rty`s ims, nd rrtdly usd him f thrtning th nstitutin nd `ttmting t rt strin rift.` l-Sif`s tril mmnd in th Dmsus riminl urt n tbr 31 nd ntinud s f mid-Nvmbr.
Svn mr tivists wr rrstd nd imrisnd btwn Stmbr 9-12. hs inludd rminnt nmist rif Dlil, funding mmbr f th nngvrnmntl mmitts fr th Rvivl f ivil Sity, nd thrs invlvd in th ivil frum mvmnt: lwyr bib Iss, nginr Fwz ll, ssn Sdun, nd bib Slh. w f ths rrstd, Iss nd hysiin Wlid l-unni, wr t th July 2 funding mting f th indndnt umn Rights Sity in Syri, nd hysiin ml Lbwni ws mmbr f th dministrtiv unil f th mmitts fr th Dfns f umn Rights. Iss ws ls mmbr f th dfns tm fr th dtind rlimntrins nd bfr his rrst hd skn but th ss n th n-rb l-Jzr tlvisin sttin. s f mid-Nvmbr, ll svn wr witing tril bfr th Stt Surity urt.
In th mnths rding th lmdwn, snir ffiils signld th gvrnmnt`s inrsing uns with th ning u f ubli dbt. n Jnury 29, Infrmtin inistr dnn mrn wrnd ublily tht disussins but rfrm `must b rsnsibl,` nd disrgd th trm `ivil sity,` dsribing it s `n mrin rssin.` rsidnt sd ls tk u this thm in n intrviw ublishd n Fbrury 8 in th n-rbi dily l-Shrq l-wst, stting tht ivi rgniztins shuld mlmnt nd b `bsd n` stt institutins, `nt built n thir ruins,` nd tht in Syri `th dvlmnt f ivil sity institutins must m t ltr stg nd thy r nt thrfr mng ur riritis.`
In mid-Fbrury, th gvrnmnt imsd ntrls n th indndnt ivi frums, mrmising th unrdntd frdm f ssmbly tht Syrin tivists nd thir surtrs hd bn njying. tings rrtdly uld n lngr b hld withut rir gvrnmnt rvl, list f rtiints, nd y f th skrs` lturs. In rh, rsidnt sd wrnd furthr tht thr wr `rinils in Syri whih nbdy shuld brk,` iting `th `th rty, th rmd frs, nd th liis f rsidnt fz l-sd.` ddd: `hllnging ths fundmntls munts t hrming th ntinl intrst . . . nd srving th ntin`s nmis.` n intrnl `th rty mmrndum, ubliizd in rh, hd th rsidnt`s rmrks. It hrgd minusly tht grus whih sught t `wkn th stt nd dwrf its rl` wr, `intntinlly r nt, srving th nmis f th hmlnd.`
nthr humn rights stbk urrd n Stmbr 22, whn rsidnt sd issud rstritiv dr gvrning nwsrs nd thr ridil ublitins s wll s nything ls rintd in Syri, frm bks t mhlts nd strs. Dr n. 50/2001 grntd th utiv, sifilly, th rim ministr nd th ministr f infrmtin, wrs t rgult ublishrs, rintrs, distributrs, nd bkstrs, nd rvidd hrsh riminl nltis fr viltins f th dr, inluding substntil fins nd imrisnmnt fr u t thr yrs.
rtil 29 f th dr listd bnnd tis, inluding `dtils f srt trils,` `rtils nd rrts but ntinl surity, ntinl unity, dtils f th surity nd sfty f th rmy, its mvmnts, wns, sulis, quimnt nd ms,` nd mtril `ffting th right t rivy.` rtil 51 riminlizd th ublitin f `flshds` nd `fbritd rrts,` with imrisnmnt f n t thr yrs fr viltrs nd/r hfty fins. h rtil ddd, in swingly vgu lngug, tht th mimum nltis `shll b imsd if suh ts hv bn mmittd by rsn f ill-will, r usd ubli unrst, r hrm t intrntinl rltins, ffns t stt dignity, ntinl unity, th mrl f th rmy nd th rmd frs, r usd sm dmg t th ntinl nmy nd th urrny.` Viltrs f rtils 29 nd 51 wr furthr nlizd with susnsin f thir ublitins fr rids f n wk t si mnths.
h dr ls rhibitd `rgnd ublitins` finnd `dirtly r indirtly` by frign untris, mnis r fundtins, rising nrn tht it uld b usd t trgt indndnt ivil sity grus tht riv funding frm brd. rhs f this rvisin brught fins nd risn trms f si mnths t n yr.
h dr ls rquird tht ll ridils, inluding ths f `lglly stblishd litil rtis,` btin in dvn lins t ublish frm th rim ministr, wh ws mwrd t dny linss `fr rsns h dms t b rltd t ubli intrst.` Nngvrnmntl rgniztins (NGs), rfssinl ssitins, nd unins, hwvr, wr mtd frm this linsing rquirmnt, but it rmind t b sn if NGs withut ffiil lgl sttus wuld b rmittd t ublish mgzins r thr ridils.
thr rvisins f th dr, st ut in rtil 16, limitd th wnrshi f ridil ublitins t Syrin rbs, suggsting tht mmbrs f th urdish minrity nd sttlss urds brn in Syri wr ludd s wll s frignrs. h sm rtil ls brrd wnrshi t nyn nvitd f riminl ffns, strid f ivil r litil rights, r `dismissd frm mlymnt,` nltis tht hd bn imsd n mny ful ritis f th gvrnmnt wh wr rviusly imrisnd n riminl hrgs ftr Stt Surity urt trils. h dr ls rquird ll ridil ublitins t btin Infrmtin inistry rvl bfr thy hngd thir wnr, dirtr, r hif ditr, nd distributrs nd sllrs f frign ridils t submit dvn is t th sm ministry, whih n bn thir ntry r irultin if thy `infring un ntinl svrignty nd surity r ffnd ubli mrlity.`
h issu f Lbns in srt Syrin ustdy, inluding ths wh wr rhndd n Lbns sil by Lbns r Syrin surity frs nd thn `disrd,` rmind unrslvd, dsit ffiil Syrin gvrnmnt knwldgmnt tht it hd bn hlding srs f risnrs. n Dmbr 11, 2000, Syrin uthritis trnsfrrd fifty-fur risnrs t Lbnn; frty-si f thm wr Lbns nd ight wr lstinins. n f th Lbns, hld wfiq, sid h hd bn hld fr thirtn yrs. Svrl dys ltr, Lbnn`s rsutr gnrl rlsd list f nthr ninty-fiv Lbns wh rmind jild in Syri fr llgd riminl ffnss mmittd n Syrin trritry. Dsit Syrin gvrnmnt ssrtins tht th fil ws nw lsd, Lbns humn rights rgniztins insistd tht thr wr dditinl Lbns hld in unknwldgd dtntin in Syri, inluding sm whs rltivs hd mngd t visit thm vr th yrs. thr `disrd` inludd twnty-si Lbns sldirs wh wr lst sn liv n tbr 13, 1990, th dy Syrin trs bgn fighting ginst frs lyl t Gn. ihl un.

DFNDING UN RIGS
umn rights rgniztins lkd ffiil lgl sttus nd uld b dnid uthriztin in rbitrry fshin undr th brdly wrdd 1958 rivt ssitins lw, rtil 2, whih stts: `ny ssitin whih is stblishd fr n illiit rsn r urs, r whih ntrvns th lw r th mrl d, r th urs f whih is t rjudi th intgrity r frm f th rublin gvrnmnt shll b null nd vid.` h gvrnmnt ls rrtd t th U.N. umn Rights mmitt (R) tht th lw ld `rstritins` n th stblishmnt f rivt ssitins `in rdr t rtt ubli sfty, ntinl surity, ubli rdr, ubli hlth nd mrls nd rights f thrs.`
n rntly rgnizd humn rights gru tht ltd its brd f dirtrs in July tld umn Rights Wth tht it wuld sk uthriztin frm th gvrnmnt but lnnd t rry ut tivitis during this rss. n f th gru`s ldrs sid h ws undr survilln by svrl surity gnis, nd tht fmily mmbrs hd bn qustind but his tivitis s frm f intimidtin nd rssur. nthr tivist nd frmr litil risnr rrtd tht surity frs mnitrd his tlhn nd mil nd tht h ws `nt fling sf.`
Dsit suh rssurs nd in ntrst t rlir yrs, intlltuls nd humn rights tivists in Syri nly issud rgulr mmuniqu&ut;s nd sttmnts, rsing swings rfrms nd ritiizing gvrnmnt tins. In Jnury, vr 1,000 intlltuls nd thrs signd th si Dumnt, titin irultd by th mmitts fr th Rvivl f ivil Sity. his lld fr litil rfrm, inluding fr ltins, rss frdm, th lifting f mrgny lw, nd n nd t th `th rty`s litil dmintin. h dumnt ntd `th nsquns f undrmining dmry in th nm f silism,` nd sid tht in Syri th rul f lw hd bn `rld by trng, rights by fvrs, nd th gnrl intrst by rsnl intrst.`
Fllwing th rrst f mmbr f rlimnt mun l-msi in ugust, th mmitts fr th Dfns f umn Rights issud sttmnt tht lld fr his rls nd urgd th gvrnmnt t `st using th judiiry s n instrumnt f rssur r trrr ginst litil tivists.` In srt dumnt, thirty-fiv intlltuls nd humn rights tivists ls ndmnd th rrst nd dvtd l-msi`s rls.
umn rights tivist Nizr Nyuf ws rlsd frm risn in y ftr srving in slitry nfinmnt mst f th tn-yr risn sntn tht th Stt Surity urt imsd in 1992. Fllwing intrntinl ubliity, h ws rvidd ssrt nd finlly llwd t lv Syri in July t sk mdil trtmnt in Frn. Fllwing his rls, Nyuf mignd fr untbility fr st buss, inluding trtur, dths in dtntin, nd trjudiil utins. tld umn Rights Wth tht whil still in Syri h hd frmd th Ntinl unil fr ruth, Justi nd Rnilitin t dumnt buss, rss fr th rtrtrs t b brught t justi, nd ssist frmr litil risnrs wh wr strid f thir ivil nd litil rights nd dnid rmlymnt in thir frmr jbs.
n Stmbr 3, Nyuf`s lwyr nwr l-unni rrtd tht lwyrs frm th `th rty hd fild s ginst Nyuf, using him f sking t hng th nstitutin by illgl mns, rting strin strif, nd ublishing brd rrts hrmful t th stt. Nyuf, wh ws still in Frn, ws rdrd t r bfr n invstigting judg fr qustining.
Syri rmind lrgly lsd t intrntinl humn rights rgniztins, lthugh uthritis rmittd rrsnttiv f th Nw Yrk-bsd mmitt t rtt Jurnlists t visit th untry in ril nd y; th missin tk l withut gvrnmnt intrfrn.

RL F INRNINL UNIY

Unitd Ntins
In rh, th U.N. umn Rights mmitt nsidrd Syri`s snd ridi rrt n mlin with th Intrntinl vnnt n ivil nd litil Rights (IR), du sin 1984. h mmitt ritiizd th lng dly nd th lk f ftul infrmtin in th rrt, rssd nrn but th `qusi-rmnnt stt f mrgny` in fr sin 1963, nd lld fr lifting f th mrgny lw `s sn s ssibl.` h mmitt ls rssd nrn but trjudiil utins, trtur, inhumn risn nditins, nd `disrns,` inluding ths f Lbns ntinls tkn int ustdy in Lbnn nd trnsfrrd t Syri.
h R ls ritiizd rstritins n frdm f ssmbly nd ssitin, nting tht `nly litil rtis wishing t rtiit in th litil tivitis f th Ntinl rgrssiv Frnt, ld by th `th rty, r llwd,` nd th dnil f ssrts t mny Syrin ils nd thir hildrn, urging th gvrnmnt t `filitt th rturn t th untry f ll Syrin itizns wishing t d s.` h mmitt ls urgd th uthritis t urgntly `find slutin t th sttlssnss f numrus urds in Syri nd t llw urdish hildrn brn in Syri t quir Syrin ntinlity.`
With rgrd t th dth nlty, th R lld fr rdutin in th numbr f ffnss unishbl by dth nd skd th gvrnmnt t rvid within n yr th numbr f dth sntns ssd sin 1990, th nms f ths ndmnd nd th grunds n whih thy wr sntnd, nd th dts f utins.

urn Unin
mmril tis btwn Syri nd th urn Unin (.U.) rmind strng but ths links did nt yild ny sustind dvy n th lng-vrdu nd fr humn rights imrvmnts, inluding bsi rights suh s frdm f rssin nd ssitin. h .U. ws Syri`s min trding rtnr, with th trd bln in fvr f Dmsus. Sm 60 rnt f Syrin rts, rimrily trlum rduts nd ttn, wr dstind fr .U. stts, with Itly, Grmny, nd Frn lding th imrtrs. hirty-n rnt f Syri`s imrts wr frm th .U., with Itly, Grmny , nd Frn ls th mjr sulirs.
h gvrnmnt md lr tht it sught substntil urn finnil id t ugrd th mnufturing str nd inrs its mtitivnss. n ril 4, Dr. uhmd wfiq Simq, wh hds Syri`s Industry mmitt, sid th untry rquird sm $5.6 billin fr tn-yr industril dvlmnt ln nd `w t th .U. t rvid gnrus ssistn.`
rd, nr in th hrtr r styl f th ngtitins whih uld ld n t think f diktt.` ssitin grmnts inludd stndrd lngug sifying tht th grmnts wr rmisd n `rst fr humn rights nd dmrti vlus.`
rnt tnsins with rst t th f nmi rfrm ld th .U. t ublish sttmnt nting tht `Syri hs didd itslf tht it ndd t rfrm its nmy,` nd tht th .U. ws `nt trying t ims ny kind f frmul n it.` h .U. sitin, th sttmnt sid, ws tht ` sustind rhythm f rfrms` ws `n ssntil signl t th utsid wrld` ndd t ttrt invstmnt.

Unitd Stts
h U.S. ffrd littl in th wy f ubli ritiism f Syri`s humn rights rtis, whih th Stt Drtmnt n gin ssssd s `r.` h ush dministrtin smd mr nrnd t us ny lvrg it did hv t rss th gvrnmnt t dhr t U.N. survisin f th Irq sntins rgim s biltrl rltins wrmd nsidrbly btwn Syri nd Irq, nd t k ls wth n th vltil Lbnn-Isrl brdr, whr izbllh gurrills ntinud t ttk Isrli militry frs in surt f Syrin nd Lbns gvrnmnt lims tht th disutd Shb Frms r, in th fthills f th Isrli-nnd Gln ights, ws Lbns, nt Syrin, trritry uid by Isrl.
n Jnury 23, Stt Drtmnt sksmn Rihrd uhr sid tht U.S. ffiils hd disussins with th Syrin gvrnmnt but th rning in Nvmbr 2000 f th il ilin frm Irq t th Syrin ditrrnn rt f nis. uhr sid tht th U.S. wuld surt Syrin rqust t hv th ilin nmd s n ffiil rut fr Irq`s il rts, undr th survisin f th U.N.`s il fr fd rgrm.
dwrd Wlkr, ssistnt srtry f stt in th Stt Drtmnt`s uru f Nr strn ffirs, disussd Syri in tstimny n rh 29 bfr th submmitt n th iddl st nd Suth si f th us f Rrsnttivs mmitt n Intrntinl Rltins. itd s sitiv dvlmnts th gvrnmnt`s ldg t th U.S. t submit t U.N. survisin f its il trd with Irq, nd sid tht nmi rfrm inititivs, rtiulrly in th bnking str, rrsntd `th bginning f mvmnt in th right dirtin.` Srtry Wlkr md n mmnts but litil rfrm r humn rights, lthugh h ritiizd rsidnt sd s bing `intrtbl n th qustin f Isrl,` lld his sttmnt t th rh 27 rb Lgu summit mting in mmn `untbl,` nd sid tht th `jury is still ut n r. shr.` In his sh, rsidnt sd trmd Isrl ` rist sity nd mr rist thn Nzism.`
nt t surt th urdish .` ut th rrt ls hrgd tht Syri `ntinud t rvid sf hvn nd surt t svrl trrrist grus, sm f whih mintind trining ms r thr filitis n Syrin trritry.` h rrt ntd tht th ulr Frnt fr th Librtin f lstin-Gnrl mmnd (FL-G), th lstin Islmi Jihd (IJ), Fth-th-Intifd, nd th ulr Frnt fr th Librtin f lstin (FL) `mintind thir hdqurtrs in Dmsus,` nd tht ms ws rmittd `t n nw min ffi in Dmsus in rh, lthugh th rrngmnt my b tmrry whil ms ntinus t sk rmissin t rstblish its hdqurtrs in Jrdn.` h Stt Drtmnt sid tht Syri `grntd vrity f trrrist grus--inluding ms, th FL-G, nd th IJ--bsing rivilgs r rfug in rs f Lbnn`s k Vlly undr Syrin ntrl.` It ls sid tht Syri `did nt t t st izbllh nd lstinin rjtinist grus frm rrying ut nti-Isrli ttks,` nd tht `Dmsus ls srvd s th rimry trnsit int fr trrrist rtivs trvling t Lbnn nd fr th rsuly f wns t izbllh.`
tk tht sriusly nd w`ll giv thm n rtunity t d s.` h nt dy, Syri`s Frign inistry rrtdly summnd mbssdr ttuf nd rtstd rmitg`s sttmnt.

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