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Friday, March 11, 2011

Critics of Syria disappear - in Lebanon

From Babylon and Beyond:
Human-rights groups are becoming increasingly concerned about the fate and whereabouts of three Syrian brothers who disappeared in the Lebanese capital about two weeks ago after they distributed fliers calling for demonstrations for democratic change in Syria.

On Thursday, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch called on Lebanon in a statement to immediately launch an independent probe into the matter.

The circumstances of the brothers' disappearance are murky. According to Human Rights Watch research, agents from Lebanon's Military Intelligence took at least six members of the Jasem family into custody on Feb. 23 and 24 after they handed out pamphlets calling for more democracy in Syria, a country ruled by the Assad family for decades.

One of them, construction worker Jasem Mer`i Jasem, then disappeared in the early hours of Feb. 25 along with his two brothers, who had gone to pick him up from a police station in Beirut's Baabda district, according to the rights group.

Family members worry that the brothers might have been sent back to Syria, where, rights groups say, authorities regularly arrest political and human-rights activists, block websites and detain bloggers.
I haven't checked lately, but I'm sure that college campuses worldwide have lots of programs calling on Syria to embrace freedom and liberal ideals, and to stop interfering with its neighbors.

(h/t David G)