Update: Syrian authorities recognize the arrest and detention of teacher Ali Sayed al-Shihabi

In December 2013, the Syrian authorities responded to an inquiry by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances that was received by the NGO Alkarama about Ali Sayed al-Shihabi, stating that “he was arrested on the base of suspicions about his activities, and he still under investigation by the competent judicial authorities.” No further information about his fate or whereabouts have been revealed since then.

Additional Information: ‘Ali Sayed al-Shihabi is an English language school teacher. He has written articles on political and social issues and also had two books published in Syria on social affairs. He was summoned for questioning by the authorities many times in the past and was imprisoned between 1982 and 1991 for his membership of the outlawed Party for Communist Action, which he has since left. Amnesty International considered him to be a prisoner of conscience.
He went missing on 19 or 20 December 2012 on his way to visit a friend in the al-Zahira al-Jadida area of Damascus. A relative of his was told unofficially in January 2013 that ‘Ali Sayed al-Shihabi was held at the Military Intelligence branch 235 (also called the Palestine branch).