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Oct-08-2012 15:03printcomments

Syria: Arrest of Prominent Human Rights Defender Mr Khalil Matouk

William Gomes asks President Bashar al-Assad to release human rights attorney from custody.

Khalil Matouk
Khalil Matouk

(SALEM) - If any single government in the world today needs to set an example with regard to human rights, it is Syria.

It is a nation targeted by the west while simultaneously battling a war on its own soil against fighters which include terrorists among their ranks. They are determined along with the west, to topple the regime.

It is sad to note that while this inner turmoil takes place, the Syrian government has jailed a prominent human rights lawyer, Khalil Matouk, who provides legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses in Syria.

Khalil Matouk, who is a member of the Syrian Bar Association, is also the executive director of the Syrian Centre for Legal Studies and Research.

Our Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes respectfully requests Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to intervene and release this human rights defender who also has severe health issues. He should be released immediately.

President Bashar al-Assad
Office of the President
Presidential Palace
Abu Rumanch Al-Rashid Street
Damascus Syria

Mr. President:

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for

I came to know about the situation from .

Khalil Matouk is a prominent human rights lawyer who provides legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses in Syria, including to fellow human rights defenders. Khalil Matouk, who is a member of the Syrian Bar Association, is also the executive director of the Syrian Centre for Legal Studies and Research.

Moreover, the human rights defender is suffering from a serious lung disease and he is in need of constant medical care due to his precarious condition. Just a few days before his arrest he had been abroad to receive treatment for his health problems.

I abhor the arrest and detention of Khalil Matouk and expresses concern for his physical and psychological integrity. I believe that Khalil Matouk’s arrest and detention are solely motivated by his advocacy for human rights in Syria and his essential role in providing legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses in Syria.

I urge the authorities in the Syria to:

1. Immediately disclose the whereabouts of Khalil Matouk, and release him immediately and unconditionally, as it is believed that his arrest and detention are solely motivated by his legitimate and peaceful human rights work;

2. Ensure that the treatment of Khalil Matouk, while in detention, adheres to all those conditions set out in the ‘Basic Principles for Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by General Assembly resolution 45/111 of 14 December 1990′, and grant him immediate and unfettered access to his family and legal representatives as well as to the necessary medical treatment;

3. Guarantee under all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Syria are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including arbitrary arrest.


William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for

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______________________________ Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.

He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.



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