Local groups activity pack, July 2014 Appeal for disappeared Syrian lawyer
On 2 October 2012, Syrian human rights lawyer Khalil Ma’touq set off on a drive to work. He never arrived and his family have not seen him since.
Khalil Ma’touq’s home is in Sahnaya, a suburb roughly 20km south of the centre of Damascus. His normal route to his office in the city takes him through a number of government-controlled checkpoints. Given Khalil’s work as a human rights lawyer, there were immediate concerns that he had been arrested by government forces.
Khalil Ma’touq’s family and lawyer have received various unconfirmed reports that Khalil was being held at a number of different branches of the security forces. The Syrian government have not responded to the family’s requests for information on the whereabouts of Khalil Ma’touq. Following an official inquiry by a group of lawyers the government denied that they are holding Khalil Ma’touq.
Khalil Ma’touq has been a human rights lawyer for many years. He has defended hundreds of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, including at Syria’s Supreme State Security Court. He is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for his peaceful and important human rights work.
According to Khalil Ma’touq’s family, his health has greatly deteriorated over his period of detention.
30 August is International Day of the Disappeared, and this year we would like you to mark the occasion by taking action and demanding the immediate release of Khalil Ma’touq.