Syria 18 months since enforced disappearance Khalil Ma'touq
5 May 2014

Syria 18 months since enforced disappearance Khalil Ma’touq

More than eighteen months ago, Syrian lawyer Khalil Ma’touq was arrested on his way to work. Since then, the authorities have refused to provide any information regarding his situation and whereabouts.

Khalil Ma’touq is the executive director of the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research and the head of the Syrian Center for the Defense of Detainees. He was working on the case of Mazen Darwish, the detained head of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), before he was arrested. Mr Ma’touq has defended numerous defendants before and during the uprising before the military, state security and civil courts.

Kahlil Ma’touq was arrested with his assistant by armed men on October 2, 2012 at a checkpoint in Sahnaya. Neither of the men has been seen since, although even the extensive period of legal custody of 60 days elapsed. Despite repeated requests by his relatives, by lawyers and by international human rights organisations, the Syrian authorities continue to withhold information on Mr Khalil Ma’touq’s fate and continue to deny he is in custody.

L4L fears for Mr Ma’touq’s physical and psychological integrity and are all the more concerned since Mr. Ma’touq suffers from a serious medical condition, which requires specific and constant medical care. In a joint statement dated May 5, 2014, L4L  together with 35 other organisations called upon the Syrian authorities to disclose Khalil Ma’touq’s whereabouts, to give him the medical care he needs and to release him and his assistant.

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