On Monday 22 February 2010, the first session of the detained lawyer, Mr Hayham al-Maleh’s trial began before the single senior military judge in Damascus. His charges are Contempt Against President of the Republic and Slander of Public Administrations.
The new fabricated charges are based on a malicious report by a justice prisoner. Accordingly, the prison administration organized an arrest. Regardless of that and the conduct of the trial, some activists, relatives, and lawyers (including 2 Italian lawyers of the International Federation for Human Rights), foreign diplomats, who showed solidarity and were able to attend the session noted that Mr al-Maleh was in a deteriorating health state. His voice could hardly be heard from frailty and general weakness, receiving no health care or necessary medicines.
While expressing its strong condemnation of this inhumane treatment conflicting with the basic conditions of legal apprehension, the Secretariat General of Damascus Declaration is hurt by the situation of the 80 year-old great jurist. It also deplores his second referral to the trial in with clear intention to torture and humiliate him. The Secretariat General calls upon all national and international civil society bodies, human rights organizations, as well as interested, independent and conscientious people to speak out and intervene to save Mr al-Maleh’s life. Likewise, it also calls for an immediate stoppage of this malicious serial measures against the Syrian prisoners of conscience by adding further fabricated charges against them while incarcerated as happened with Dr Kamal al-Labwani, Dr Waleed al-Bunni, Mr Anwar al-Bunni, Ms Fa’iz Sarah, and now with Mr al-Maleh.
Freedom for all prisoners of conscience!