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Concern over disappearance of human rights lawyer in Syria

Khalil Ma’touq and his friend Mohammed Thatha went missing on their route to work which involves passing several government checkpoints.

A Syrian government security forces soldier, stands at a checkpoint as he checks the identity cards of Syrian citizens in Damascus, Syria.
A Syrian government security forces soldier, stands at a checkpoint as he checks the identity cards of Syrian citizens in Damascus, Syria.
Image: Muzaffar Salaman/AP/Press Association Images

A PROMINENT HUMAN rights lawyer in Syria has disappeared and it is feared he may have been detained by Syrian security forces.

Khalil Ma’touq and his friend Mohammed Thatha went missing as they made their way to work in Damascus on Tuesday morning

There are several government-controlled checkpoints on the route he usually followed and the phones of both men have now ceased to work.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland said if the men have been detained they must be released immediately unless they are charged with an internationally recognisable offence.

“The situation is particularly concerning as Khalil Ma’touq has a serious lung condition for which he requires medication and regular medical supervision,” he said.

“The families of these men have a right to know what has happened to them.”

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Khalil Ma’touq, a member of Syria’s Christian minority, has been a human rights lawyer for many years.

Amnesty International said he defended hundreds of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience including before the Supreme State Security Court.

Read: http://www.thejournal.ie/turkey-pounds-syria-in-reprisal-for-deadly-fire-621568-Oct2012/
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