Syrian President Bashar al Asad’s regime continues to stifle dissent. An eminent victim is Dr Abdul Aziz al-Khayer, a fifty-three year old doctor and dissident writer whose The Black Book accused Asad of corruption. Al-Khayer was arrested in Damascus on 1 February 1992 and sentenced to twenty-two years for membership of the Communist Party. His sentence expires on 31 January 2014.
Although working as an informal prison doctor, he has been denied family visits for over a year. Prior to his arrest relatives were arrested to exert pressure; his wife was detained without charge from August 1987 until December 1991. The writer and honorary PEN member Faraj Baraykdar and three others were tried with Al-Khayer. All reportedly suffered continuous interrogation under torture.
On 14 April 1992 Al-Khayer was transferred to Sednaya prison near Damascus where he is still held. He was not tried or sentenced until August 1995 and was given no right to appeal. He was excluded from a presidential amnesty which freed the others in December 2001.
Please write to appeal against Dr Al-Khayer’s imprisonment to:
His Excellency Bashar al-Assad
Syrian Arab Republic
Fax: 00 963 11 332 3410
Trevor Mostyn is a member of English PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/prisoners/drabdulazizal-khayer/