Free Syrian Blogger Tariq Biassi


Published by Citizen on Jan 20, 2008
Category: Human Rights
Region: Syria
Target: The Syrian government
His name is Tariq Biassi and he's 23 years old. He lives in Banyas with his mother and two sisters. His father was was a previous political prisoner.

Tarek sells and maintains PCs. He is described by his friends as shy and quiet, spending his time surfing the web and blogging.

On 7-7-2007, Tarek was asked by the security branch in Banyas to answer a few questions concerning a comment he left on one of the "sensitive" websites. That was the last his family heard from him.

Up to this moment, two Syrian human rights agencies did report on Tariq's detention.

HRW mentioned his name in its report on Syrian officials' continuous arrests of people over online comments:

"On June 30, 2007, Military Intelligence in the coastal city of Tartous arrested Tarek Biasi, 22, because he “went online and insulted security services,” according to a person familiar with the case. Biasi remains in incommunicado detention, his whereabouts unknown."

The HRW report says Tarek was detained on June 30, but the Syrian human rights agency and his family and friends confirmed that Tarek was detained on the 7th. of July and not on June 30th. I am noting this issue for documentation purposes.

Tariq does not stand alone in these arrests policy over online comments, the HRW report lists seven names among those who've been detained for expressing their views online. This policy started in 2002 but it has been increasing recently and especially after the “Ministry of Telecommunications and Technology” circular; Sami Ben Gharbia; GVA author, wrote about the repression of internet in Syria and here he uncovers the circular's instructions:

"Recently, the new-formed “Ministry of Telecommunications and Technology” issued a new circular asking the owners of the Syrian websites “to exercise accuracy and objectivity (…) and to post the name of the writer of an article and the one who comments on it in a clear and detailed manner.” The Ministry added that “the failure to do so would result in warning the website owner and rendering his website temporarily inaccessible. In case the violation is repeated, the website will become permanently inaccessible."

بيان المدونين السوريين من أجل إطلاق سراح المدون طارق بياسي

ورد في مقدمة الدستور السوري : حرية الوطن لا يصونها إلا المواطنون
الأحرار ونصت المادة 28منه على أن : كل متهم بريء حتى يدان بحكم قضائي مبرم”".

في صباح يوم السابع من تموز لعام 2007, طلبت السلطات الأمنية من طارق
بياسي (23 عاما) الذهاب إلى فرع أمن طرطوس للتحقيق معه حول تعليق نشره في أحد منتديات
الحوار العربية على الإنترنت. وإلى هذه اللحظة مازال طارق وراء القضبان بدون أية محاكمة.

طارق الذي يعاني من بعض أمراض الكبد مازال معتقلاً في فرع فلسطين بدمشق
ولا يسمح لذويه بزيارته أو معرفة أي شيء عنه ، رغم محاولاتهم المتعددة.

مضت أكثر من ستة أشهر على توقيف المدون السوري طارق بياسي من
قبل الأمن العسكري بدمشق، دون أن يحال إلى القضاء المختص لمحاكمته
والنظر في التهم الموجهة إليه إن كان ثمة تهم أصلاً. الأمر الذي يعتبر انتهاكاً
لنصوص الدستور وقواعده وحجزاً للحرية خلافاً للقانون.

طارق لم يخالف القانون وإنما كان يتصرف على أساس الحرية التي منحه إياها
الدستور في المادة 38 منه والتي تنص على أنه : لكل مواطن الحق في أن
يعرب عن رأيه بحرية وعلنية بالقول والكتابة وكافة وسائل التعبير الأخرى وأن
يسهم في الرقابة والنقد البناء بما يضمن سلامة البناء الوطني”.
طارق اعتقل بسبب تعليق كتبه على أحد المواقع الالكترونية، وأياً كان
مضمون هذا التعليق، فإنه لا يجوز أن يكون سبباً للاعتقال كل هذه الفترة
الطويلة وبدون محاكمة.

طارق عبر عن رأيه، ورأيه لا يهز الأمن ولا يزعزع الاستقرار ولا يثير
الفتن. فالأمن في سورية أقوى من أن يهزه رأي أو يزعزع استقراره مجرد
تعليق على الإنترنت .

طارق في ريعان الشباب و أول العمر ، يحب وطنه سوريا وشعبها ويعمل من
أجلهما، ومن يحب سوريا ا يستحق أن نرمي به في ظلام السجون لمجرد كلمة قالها ، ولمجرد رأي عبر
عنه .

أياً كانت التهمة التي اعتقل طارق على أساسها فإن من حقه أن يحاكم أمام
القضاء المختص للنظر في الأدلة التي تثبت هذه التهمة عليه وإعطائه
الفرصة إثبات براءته .

لذلك فإننا نطالب بتطبيق الدستور والقانون على طارق وإحالته إلى القضاء
المختص ليقول كلمته في التهمة المنسوبة إلى طارق . و الإفراج عنه فورا في
حال عدم ثبوت أي تهمة عليه . ومن الظلم أن يظل طارق دون محاكمة عادلة .


The Statement of the Syrian Bloggers to release the blogger Tariq Biasi

It is stated in the introduction of the Syrian Constitution: “The freedom of the country is only protected by free citizens”

Also the Article 28 in the constitution dictates that: “Every accused person is innocent until he is convicted by a final court judgement”

In the morning of the seventh day of July in 2007, the security authorities asked Tariq Biasi (23 years old) to go to the security branch of Tartus for some investigations concerning a comment he posted in an Arab discussion forum in the Internet. And up to this moment Tariq still behind bars without any trial.

Tariq, who is suffering from liver diseases, still detained in the Palestine Branch in Damascus and it is not permitted to his family to visit him or even know anything about him, despite their multiple attempts with the security authorities.

More than six months passed since the arrest of the Syrian blogger Tariq Biasi by the military security in Damascus without being referred to the relevant trial court to study the charges against him, if there were any in the first place. This may be considered a violation of the provisions of the Constitution and its rules. On the other hand, the suppression of the citizens’ freedom is also against the law.

Tariq’s act does not constitute a contravention of the law, he actually acted on the basis of freedom given to him by the Constitution since the Article 38 states that: "Every citizen has the right to express his opinion freely and openly, orally and written and in all other means of expression. He also has the right to contribute in the control process and in the constructive criticism to ensure the safety of national reconstruction".

Tariq was arrested because of a comment he posted in a web site, and regardless of the content of this comment, it may not be a cause for this long arrest and without a public trial.

Tariq expressed his opinion which would not shake the security nor destabilize the country nor become a sedition against the established order. As a matter of fact the security in Syria is stronger than being shaked by an opinion or a comment posted in the Internet.
Tariq is still young. He loves his country Syria and its people, and he is working for them. The one who loves Syria does not deserve to be thrown in the darkness of prisons for just a spoken word, or merely for an expressed point of view.

Whatever the charge that Tariq was arrested for, he has the right to be tried before the relevant court to consider the evidences that prove this charge and to be given the opportunity to prove his innocence.

Therefore, we call upon the application of the Constitution and law by the transmission of Tariq to the relevant court to study the charges attributed to him. And once the court admits the absence of evidence of any charge we demand that they release him immediately.

It is unfair to let Tariq stay more than that in prison without a fair trial!

The Free Syrian Blogger Tariq Biassi petition to The Syrian government was written by Citizen and is hosted free of charge at GoPetition.