UN and EU Call Syria to Release Human Rights Lawyer Haytham Al-Maleh

Chairwoman Hautala fully endorses the declaration by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that the detention by Syria of human rights lawyer Haitham al-Maleh is a violation of international law and calls for his immediate release.[:]


As demonstrated by the events in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere, freedom of expression and assembly cannot be suppressed indefinitely, the time inescapably comes when the oppressive arm of the state must make way to the fundamental freedoms. In this vein, it is imperative for the authorities to release Mr al-Maleh immediately, Chairwoman stated.

Syrian authorities may have imprisoned Mr al-Maleh to silence his voice but they have failed to preveint his work from increasincly resonating around the world, Chairwoman further added.


Chairwoman Hautala has expressed concern over the situation and health of Mr al-Maleh repeatedly and after raising his case at the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, the European Parliament on 9th of September 2010 adopted a resolution on human rights in Syria, in particular the case of Haythan Al-Maleh.


In the resolution, the European Parliament expressed deepest concern about the situation of Mr Haythan Al-Maleh and called on the Syrian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him, and to guarantee his physical and psychological well-being under all circumstances.
Chairwoman Hautala urges the Syrian authorities to abide by their international obligations on human rights field and show utmost respect to the declaration of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.