On August 13, 2012 Syrian security forces arrested Dr. Hayel Hamid, 66, a Palestinian refugee in Syria and a British national. Dr. Hamid is a surgeon who worked at the al-Assad Hospital and al-Mouwasat hospital in Damascus, taught at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Damascus, and had his own medical clinic in Yarmouk, in south Damascus. Witnesses said that security forces in military uniforms raided Dr. Hamid’s clinic, arrested him, and confiscated his laptop and mobile phone. A relative living outside Syria said that security forces then escorted Dr. Hamid to his home in Yarmouk to pick up his car.
The relative said that security forces had called Dr. Hamid a few days earlier and told him to come in for questioning. He did, and was released. The relative said that Dr. Hamid was not politically active and did not participate in protests.
Since his arrest, and despite his family’s efforts to try and locate him at several security branches and the courts, Dr. Hamid’s fate and whereabouts remain unknown. However, someone who was arrested with him, informed the British Embassy in Jordan after being released, that Dr. Hamid is in Syrian government custody. Other released prisoners also confirmed his presence in the regime’s intelligence prisons. Still the British received an official answer from the Syrian regime claiming that they have never arrested him, the relative said.
“Dr. Hamid is a caring husband and a father of four,” his relative told Human Rights Watch. “He was the main provider for his family, and his arrest forced his wife and four children to face a dangerous security situation alone in Yarmouk.”
Source: Human Rights Watch