Syrian intellectuals call for freedom, release of detainees, end of emergency law
Syria, Politics, 9/27/2000
For the first time since 30 years, a statement was released by a large gathering including 99 Syrian men of letters, intellectuals, artists, engineers and journalists calling on the authority to "cancel the state of emergency, the martial law and Amnesty for all political detainees and the release of freedoms.
Among those who signed were Antoine al-Maqdisi; Burhan Ghalyoun, Sadeq Jalal al-Azem, Michael Kilo, Tayeb Teizini; Abdul Rahman Munif; Adonis; Omar Amirlai, Nayela al-Atrash; Haidar Haidar; Nazih Abu Afash; Osama Muhammad; Nabil Suleiman; Hanan Qassab Hassan; Mamdouh Azzam; Adel Mahmoud, Jamal Shehayed, Rimond Butrous; Akram al-Khatib; Lukman Deirki; Shawqi Baghdadi; Ali al-Jundi, Ali Knaan, Mamdouh Adnan Muhammad Malas and Muhammad Ali al-Attasi.
The following reads as follows: " Democracy and the principles of human rights in the world of today is a common humanitarian language bringing together the peoples of the earth and unit their hopes for a better future.
If certain greater states use these statements selectively to impose its policies and achieve their interests, however, civilization interaction among peoples; away the logic of hegemony and the policy of dominance, had permitted our people in the past and will permit them in the future to become affected by the experiences of others, to have effect on others, while developing on their own special character.
Today, Syria enters the 21st century, while in need drastically for the united efforts of all her people to confront the challenges of peace, modernization and openness to the outer world, and therefore, our people are called on, more than at any time before to take part in the making of its present and future.
Stemmed from this objective need, and on the ground of our care to maintain our national unity and on the belief that the future of our country can be only made by our people, and being citizens in a Republican system which gives the right to expressing views and self expression, we, the undersigned call on the authority to achieve the following demands
1. canceling the state of emergency, martial law applied in Syria since 1963.
2. Issuance of an Amnesty general for all political detainees, the detainees of the views and the opinion and who are chased for political reasons and permitting the return back of all politically expelled citizens.
3. Setting up the state of the law, releasing public freedom, recognizing political and intellectual freedoms, the freedom of meeting and the press and self expression, freeing public life from forms of restrictions and control imposed so as to permit citizens to express their various interests in the framework of social compliance, peaceful competition and institutional build up that avail all to take part in contributing to developing the country and for its prosperity.
Any reform, being economic, administrative or legal, will not attain stability in the country, unless it copes completely, side by side, with the optimum political reform. This political reform is the only way to reach our society, step by step to the shore of peacefulness and tranquility."
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