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Syria: Arrest and incommunicado detention of Human rights defender Mr Saleem Qabbani
On 14 July 2012, Syrian security forces arrested Mr Saleem Qabbani at a checkpoint in the capital Damascus. Saleem Qabbani was arrested as he was collecting medical aid for victims of human rights abuses in the besieged city of Homs.
Saleem Qabbani is a journalist known for his work in documenting human rights violations in Syria, including through the internet and social media networks.
Following his arrest on 14 July, Saleem Qabbani was taken to an unknown destination where he remains held incommunicado. There are fears that he may be tortured or ill-treated.
Prior to his arrest, it is reported that the Syrian security forces had been given Saleem Qabbani's name with instructions to apprehend him. He was also under surveillance for his media work, including appearances on Satellite television channels such as Al Arabiya to report on human rights violations in the country.
The arrest and detention of Saleem Qabbani is part of an ongoing Government crackdown on human rights defenders, especially those involved with the media and Internet-based social networks.
Front Line expresses deep concern for Saleem Qabbani's physical and psychological integrity, especially given that torture and ill-treatment of detainees is systematic in Syria. Front Line Defenders believes that Saleem Qabbani's arrest and detention are solely motivated by his peaceful and legitimate human rights work, particularly his efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of human rights violations in the city of Homs, as well as his efforts to document human rights violations.