Nizar Nayouf

Nizar Nayouf was sentenced to ten years in prison in early 1992 for membership of the banned Committee for the Defence of Democratic Freedoms and Human Rights (which he co-founded) and for being involved in the production and distribution of a leaflet calling for human rights reforms in Syria. Nizar is also a poet and one of his three volumes, A PIPE FOR SMOKING DREAMS, is overtly political in content.

Nizar was released from prison on the night of 6-7 May 2001, after nine years in detention. His release, granted by President Bashar-al-Assad, coincided with the Pope’s visit to Syria. He was initially held under house arrest, but after international pressure, he was allowed to come to France for medical treatment in July 2001. He successfully sought political asylum and was granted it in 2002.

Nizar Nayouf and Moris Farhi

Nizar Nayouf and Moris Farhi

In November 2003 Moris Farhi (member of English PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee) and Lucy Popescu (WiPC Programme Director) met Nizar Nayouf in Paris.  

Nizar Nayouf and Lucy Popescu

Nizar Nayouf and Lucy Popescu
To read Lucy Popescu’s report from the WiPC mission to Paris click here  

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