Islamic Human Rights Commission
13 May 2009
Urgent Forwarded Alert: Syria – Free Maryam Kallis – British citizen detained without charge in Syria
British citizen, Maryam Kallis, and her three children had been living with her sister in Damascus in Syria where she was studying the Arabic language. Her husband is currently living with her other child and was making arrangements for the family to move back to the UK.
On 15th March 2009, Maryam Kallis was detained by the Syrian authorities and taken into custody. Since then she has been held, away from her children without having been given access to any legal representation or even being charged with a crime.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) claim to be working for her release, but as of yet have not provided an explanation for her detention despite gaining access to her two weeks after her arrest.
The FCO now claim that it could be weeks before they are able to gain another visit.
Maryam Kallis remains in Syrian custody without any charge and is being kept in a secret location.
-Write to the Foreign Office (King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH), reminding them that a person’s humanity and corresponding treatment does not change if they aren’t a British citizen
-Write to the Syrian Embassy in London (Syrian Embassy, 8 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8PH), reminding them of the case and the injustice of detaining individuals without charge and other inhumane treatment
-Publicise their cases – write articles, distribute petitions and organise protests & rallies
-Send a message of support to Maryam’s family by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: Detention without charge of British citizen Maryam Kallis in Syria
Dear [INSERT NAME],
I write to you to requesting your immediate action towards the public trial or release without charge of Maryam Kallis.
Mrs Kallis has been detained since the middle of March in an undisclosed location in Syria without charge or trial. A British citizen and mother of four, she has been denied access to her family who are distraught without her.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office must take all steps to ensure that either Mrs Kallis is tried for a crime or is released immediately and brought back to the UK.
I remind you that the UK government has already proven itself to be deficient when dealing with Muslims detained abroad – the cases of Binyam Mohamed and 28 others come to mind. The situation of Mrs Kallis is the perfect opportunity for the government to show that it is committed to human rights and will work for all British citizens and residents who are detained abroad in an equal way.
I look forward to hearing from you soon regarding this issue,
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“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”
Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75
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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183