The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) call on the Syrian authorities to disclose the whereabouts of human rights defender, Abd al-Hadi Cheikh Awad, and grant his family and lawyer immediate access to him.
Abd al-Hadi Cheikh Awad is the director of the Syrian Democratic Institute and has been involved also in aid efforts in the context of the conflict in Syria.
On 8 December 2013, he was arrested at the immigration office, close to the Syrian-Lebanese border, by members of the governmental security forces while he was heading to Beirut. He has since been denied access to lawyers and to his family. Reports confirmed that, so far, no specific charges have been brought against him. However, other unconfirmed reports suggest that he has been subjected to severe torture by the security forces while in detention.
EMHRN and GCHR believe that the arbitrary detention of Abd al-Hadi Cheikh Awad is directly related to his peaceful and legitimate humanitarian activities. In view of reports of Abd al-Hadi Cheikh Awad’s severe torture and the fact that his whereabouts are still unknown, we are gravely concerned for his physical and psychological integrity and believe that this is part of a campaign to restrict legitimate humanitarian work in Syria.
Source: Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR)