Kamal Labwani’s family have written to Maureen Thomas, describing the latest humiliations in Adra Prison, Damascus. Maureen’s covering comment is a timely reminder of the human frailty of our friends who have been imprisoned in Damascus: “One can only admire the prisoners’ pride, determination and courage but I worry for Haytham, Muhannad, Anwar and Kamal who still have a long time to go with no money or medication to help keep them healthy.”
The letter from Kamal’s family speaks for itself:
“We are ok actually and our father but now we are not visiting him because he asked us not to.
Him and all the prisoners of conscious in Adra prison reject to be visited because the authorities want them to wear prison pajamas during the visit and not civilian clothes or even sports pajamas as they say they want them to be equal like other prisoners.
So the prisoners of conscience rise up claiming that they should be also equal to other prisoners in other rights like their visit is not being watched and have the right to visit for two hours rather than only half an hour and other fair requests. They say if you want us to be equal let us be equal in every single right. It is really not a matter of wearing prison pajamas or not, they want to be treated like other prisoners. If the authority wants them to be equal with civil prisoners they wish to be really equal.
And so now we cannot visit him because if we go he will refuse to come out and see us. We cannot give him money and provide him with medication. Not just us but the other prisoners’ families.
I would not be accurate if I called what the prisoners of conscience are doing as a strike because I really don’t know if they will end it or keep doing this until their demands are accomplished. We really don’t know what the circumstances will bring but until now it seems that they insist to go on.
I’m sorry for this long letter. We all hope the new days will bring good news.”
Amnesty International is planning a demonstration outside the Syrian Embassy at 8 Belgrave Square on Saturday 17th April 2010 (Syria’s Independence Day) at 3pm. When we have held demos in the past, those attending have been enthusiastic but few in number. Could you help us to swell the ranks this time? If so, please let me know ASAP at email@example.com