Target: Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Goal: Free a Syrian opposition activist awaiting an unfair trial
Gebrail Moushe Kourie has been in jail for months awaiting trial on a number of political charges, and as a result, his health is suffering. Kourie, who was the president of the Assyrian Democratic Organization, was arrested after responding to a summons from Syrian State Security. The Assyrian Democratic Organization is part of a larger coalition of opposition groups considered illegal by the government, and Kourie has run afoul of the authorities as a result of his peaceful activism. Sign the petition and demand that this prisoner of conscience be released immediately.
After his arrest, Kourie was moved from one detention facility to another for about two months before being settled in ‘Adra Prison. The facilities in which he has spent time are notorious for torturing and ill-treating prisoners. His case, which according to Amnesty International includes charges such as “belonging to an unlicensed secret political party” and “incitement of violence to topple the government,” has been bumped from criminal court to Syria’s Anti-Terrorism Court, a body which violates international fair trial standards.
Kourie is a prisoner of conscience, held solely on the basis of his peaceful political activism. He must be released immediately before his case can be brought to an unfair trial. Sign the petition below to demand his freedom.
I am writing to implore you to intercede on the behalf of Gebrail Moushe Kourie. The President of the Assyrian Democratic Organization, Kourie has been arrested and charged with “belonging to an unlicensed secret political party” and “incitement of violence to topple the government,” according to Amnesty International. His case will not be tried in criminal court but in Syria’s Anti-Terrorism Court, which violates international fair trial standards. I urge you to do all in your power to ensure that Kourie is freed immediately and unconditionally.
Peaceful political expression is an internationally recognized human right. Kourie’s membership in an opposition group does not negate this right, nor does his “crime” qualify him as a terrorist. His potential trial before the Anti-Terrorism Court is a travesty, and the fact that he has been charged and jailed at all is ridiculous and constitutes a gross violation of his most basic human rights. He has been imprisoned in a number of facilities notorious for torturing and ill-treating inmates, and he has been denied all but one family visit during his time in custody.
Peaceful political activism is not recognized as a crime by the global community, and it is time for Syria to acknowledge this as well. I urge you to ensure that Kourie is freed as quickly as possible, and that in the meantime he is afforded all the medical attention, legal representation, and family contact he is entitled to by international law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: kIM DARam via Flickr