Washington DC - October 15, 2009 (RPS Staff News) - According to the National Organization for Human Rights - Syria (NOHR-S) headed by lawyer and human rights advocate Ammar Qurabi, Haytham al-Maleh, an internationally renowned Syrian dissident, has been detained by the Syrian authorities.

Al-Maleh was summoned by the Political Security branch of the Syrian Assad regime on Wednesday October 14, 2009. He has not been seen yet.

Haytham al-Maleh is 78 years old. He has been active as a dissident since 1951 combating for human and equal rights for all Syrians. Imprisoned by the Assad regime in 1980 until 1986, he remained active as a lawyer for human rights until 2001, when he founded the Organization for Human Rights and presided over its work until 2006.

Eight different human rights organizations signed a petition to seek his release.

As the Obama administration seeks better relations with Assad, the regime continues stifling the liberties of ordinary citizens as well as the dissident community helping to lay the foundation for a real democracy to plant its roots in Syria.



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