[QODLink]
Archive
Syrian forum served closure order
The Syrian security services have ordered the country's only remaining political forum to close down, just weeks after briefly arresting its founder and seven other members, the Arab Organisation for Human Rights said.
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2005 20:13 GMT
Al-Assad is under pressure to enact political reforms
The Syrian security services have ordered the country's only remaining political forum to close down, just weeks after briefly arresting its founder and seven other members, the Arab Organisation for Human Rights said.

However, the AOHR statement on Wednesday, a copy of which was received by Aljazeera, said the directors of the Al-Atassi Forum for National Dialogue refused to comply because the order had not come from an appropriate authority.

The group said Atassi Forum president "Suhair al-Atassi and a member of the board of directors, Jihad Msouti, were summoned by the security services and informed of the closure of the forum".

But the "board of directors refused to comply because the decision for a closure was issued by a non-official party, and the forum will hold its next meeting on Saturday as is its custom".

The AOHR called on members of the public to attend the meeting "so that (the forum) will remain the symbol of liberty and the beacon of culture".

Arrests

It also called on the authorities to "authorise the Attasi Forum and all cultural forums and human rights organisations to operate in a legal fashion".

On 24 May, Suhair Atassi and the seven other members of the forum were arrested and held for six days.

They were freed after "an inquiry focused on the violation of laws ... about the actions of certain movements that are banned in Syria", the state news agency SANA reported without providing details.

The Atassi Forum is one of a number set up during a brief political honeymoon after President Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father Hafez in 2000 but is the only one still operating amid an intensifying crackdown by the authorities.

Source:
Aljazeera + Agencies
Topics in this article
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.