Profession: Medical doctor and dissident writer.
Date of arrest: 1 February 1992
Sentence: 22 years’ imprisonment.
Expires: 31 January 2014
Details of arrest: Arrested in Damascus for his membership of the Hizb al-‘Amal al-Shuyu’I (Party for Communist Action), which is not known to have used or advocated violence.
Details of trial: Convicted in August 1995 by the Syrian State Security Court (SSSC). Four others tried at the same time as Al-Khayer, including poet and former PEN main case Faraj Baraykdar with whom he shared a prison cell, were released in December 2001 under a presidential amnesty. It is not known why Al-Khayer was not included in the amnesty. He was not taken up by International PEN until now as he was not known to be a writer. His writings reportedly include many political essays, including ‘Nuptials of Dictatorship’, and a publication called The Black Book which reportedly alleged corruption in Assad’s regime.
Place of detention: Sednaya prison, Damascus.
Treatment in prison: Reported to be allowed greater freedom within the prison in recent years and to be able to provide medical care to a great number of prisoners. Said to have been denied family visits for over a year. following his arrest, and to have been taken to Tishrin Hospital. Now believed to be held in solitary confinement in Sednaya Prison. Reported to have started a hunger stike in June 2004.
Released: 3 November 2005
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/writersinexile/abdulazizal-khayer/