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The Guillotine of Rights and Freedoms

January 29, 2005

The new year present given by the State Security Court was the ruling to "kill" citizens convicted of "committing actions of terror". Like all its presents given successively during the whole year to the citizen from the different segments, condemned with all kinds of charges, from resisting the revolution's objectives through dissemination of false news, attempting to take over a part of the nation's own lands to give it to a foreign country…… to committing actions of terrorism.

 

I used the verb "kill", because it is not a court, its law is unlawful, and its justice is unfair. Calling it a court is a mere farce, that would offense the concepts of justice and judiciary. This entity practices all kinds of aberration under the names of justice and judiciary. It is not the first time for this court to unlawfully sentence to put an end to someone's life, and will not be the last, as long as it continues to be a sword on the justice's nick.

 

No matter what the two sentenced citizens did to deserve death, are they "a fundamentalist fanatic secluded group" as alleged by the Ministry of Interior?, or as alleged by the Ministry of Media, they "have connections with Al-Qaeda", or, according to some Arabic language newspaper, they were "fighters in Iraq". Did they use weapon to kill the innocents, did they steal or rob? I believe that this is not the question, no matter how severe the action they had committed, they have the right to a fair trial, they have the right to be judged in accordance to just laws, they have the right to access to defense, they have the right to appeal and cassation. That is what we were taught in Damascus's Law School, a school that had never mentioned that such a serious case, possibly would end with a death penalty sentence, could be viewed in only four hearing sessions in an exceptional court, which rulings can not be appealed. The mentioned above rights and legal rules are set out in the laws of all the world's countries, except in Syria.

 

In Syria, the 14- year minor Mosa'ab al-Hariri, submits before an exceptional court. In Syria, a certain article is dedicated to trail all the Kurds detainees who aim at "taking over a part of the nation's land". In Syria, the pro-democracy are charged with attempting to change the constitution, lawyers are given lectures on patriotism and in the principals of al-Baath party inside the court hall. In Syria, the "accused" are emotionally advised, (when the judge was questioning the 15 accused Kurds students in the events of last March, the judge asked one of them, who was a history- student about the Mamelukes Era, the young man stammered, so the judge said: "study hard kid!" In Syria there is a farce tragedy called the "State Security Court" A tragedy because it keeps on violating law, rights and freedoms. A tragedy because we, the human rights defenders, are silent concerning its violations and still given up to its arbitrary convictions. A tragedy because we, the activists, are incapable of rising the protest against it and putting that protest in the top of our priorities included in the agenda of Syrian human rights struggle.

 

Back to the main subject, it could not be conceded, when an exceptional court, that lacks the minimum standards of justice, issue a death penalty sentence. The allegations of committing actions of terror shall not prevent us from protesting against ending someone's life without the necessary legal guarantees. The court that today sentences "terrorists" to death, is the same court that had sentenced the political prisoners and the prisoners of conscience to the same sentence in the last decades, and it is the same court that keeps on issuing its rulings against the activists, the returning from exile, and those who have been detained upon blind reports. This court's sentences will continue to be issued against all the detainees of the new era, the era of reform, that era which supposed reforms can not be contestable, in the presence of the guillotine of rights and freedoms the so-called a State Security Court.

(source)

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