Urgent Action Issued by Amnesty International Boston and Justice for Detainees in Syria

Detainee’s full name: Adel Barazi (in Arabic: عادل برازي).

Gender and nationality: Male, Syrian

Date and place of birth: Salamiyeh, Syria 1984.

Marital status: Single

 

Description of the arrest incident:

 

On 11 August 2012, around midnight, a group of more than 25 persons (the number was estimated by some neighbors who managed to watch the raid from behind curtains) wearing the presidential guard uniform raided the house of my brother-in-law Zaki Kordelo who was living in the 1st floor with his wife and two children in a house in Dummar al-Balad informal settlement, a suburb of Damascus, Syria.

 

Without presenting any kind of official warrant, they asked Zaki about my Brother Adel (a university student and employee at a translation agency in Damascus, Syria) who was living in one of the two apartments of the 2nd floor of the same house while his friend Ismael Hammoudeh, a university student was living in the adjacent apartment. They got upstairs, broke into Adels apartment without knocking at the door and instantly took him and also took Ismael and my nephew Mihyar Kordelo who happened to be there (he was living with his family in the first floor). Neighbors said they saw the military men beating the three of them while forcing them into a van. They remained around 30 minutes searching the two apartments upstairs before coming down stairs to search my sister’s apartment. During the search, my sister asked one of them about the reason why they had arrested the three young men and he said: “they are hosting anti regime activities. They will come back home after a short investigation”. Then, to the dismay of my sister, they took my brother-in-law Zaki as well. When she asked them why, they said “nothing serious, we are taking him only to let him bring the belongings back if the other three remained in detention for a while”. They took five laptops (including that of my other nephew who was a high school student) and three desktop computers in addition to a big amount of money (more than $ 5,000) and the two cars of Adel and Zaki.

 

About one month and a half after their detention, a young man from Qudsayya (a Damascus suburb) named Haitham called Adel’s business cell-phone which was with me at the time. He said he had just been released and had been expecting Adel to answer his call thinking that Adel should have been released before him because, as he said, there were no serious charges against him during the investigation. He met Adel at a detention center in Al-Mazzeh military airport but was moved to another security branch to spend one month before being released. This center was a kind of concentration camp without any type of documentation. Detainees spend short periods there before being referred to the relevant security branch. I tried several times to meet with Haitham in an attempt to collect further information but he looked too intimidated after hearing that Adel was not released. He even provided no more details on the phone about the charges against Adel.

 

A friend working for the Ministry of Communications also managed to trace the number of Adel’s cell-phone. He said the phone remained two days receiving signals before being turned silent and the place was near the above mentioned concentration camp in Al-Mazzeh airport.

 

Dr. Ali Haidar, the Syrian Minister of Reconciliation was told by the air force security branch, where he tried to inquire about Adel and the other three one month after their detention, that they were “part of a network receiving foreign funding to support anti-regime activities”. Later Dr. Haidar said he tried several times but failed to get further information about their place.

A petition was officially submitted a few months after detention to the Syrian Ministry of Justice inquiring about Adel’s place but no answer.

 

In mid-February 2016, a man contacted my sister (currently living in Beirut, Lebanon) through the Facebook and told her that he had been released from Saidnaya prison in Damascus about 45 days earlier. He claimed he had seen my brother Adel in the Red Building in that prison by chance for a few minutes and that Adel looked very skinny and completely pale. My sister told a lawyer who is following-up Adel’s case in Syria but the lawyer said he checked in Saidnaya prison and could not get evidence that Adel is there.

 

The family member providing the information:

Ali Barazi (Adel’s brother)

81 #C Charlebank Way

Waltham, MA 02453, USA

Cell phone: +18572631623