Resolution on the case of Rafah Nashed in Syria

The European Parliament, – having regard to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and to Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, to which Syria is a party, – having regard to the statements issued by the spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative, on 30 August 2011 on the worsening of the human rights situation in Syria and on 23 September 2011 on the situation of Rafah Nashed in Syria, – having regard to the statements calling for the release of Rafah Nashed that were made by Isabelle Durant and Libor Rouček, Vice-Presidents of Parliament, and Veronique de Keyser, Vice-Chair of the S&D Group, at the plenary sittings of 14, 15 and 29 September 2011, – having regard to the Council conclusions of 10 and 23 October 2011 and to the sanctions adopted on 13 October 2011, – having regard to Parliament’s resolutions of 7 April 2011(1) and 7 July 2011(2) on the situation in Syria, Bahrain and Yemen, – having regard to its resolution of 15 September 2011(3) on the situation in Syria, – having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure, A. whereas Rafah Nashed, Syria’s first practising psychoanalyst and the founder of the Damascus School of Psychoanalysis, was arbitrarily arrested and detained on 10 September 2011 at Damascus airport by officers of the General Intelligence Services; whereas she is known for treating victims of psychological trauma as well as for her active engagement in favour of dialogue between all Syrians; B. whereas Ms Nashed is 66 years old and in a precarious state of health, as she has heart disease, is recovering from cancer, has high blood pressure and has to take medication regularly; whereas her health is deteriorating in prison, and this is aggravating her heart disease; C. whereas Ms Nashed was travelling to Paris to be with her daughter, who was expecting a child, when she was taken to prison without charge and initially held in secret detention; D. whereas on 14 September 2011 she was accused of ‘activities likely to destabilise the State’ and the judge refused to release her on bail; whereas the nature of the accusation and the paranoia that has gripped the regime for the last six months raise fears of a lengthy period of detention intended to intimidate the whole of Syria’s intellectual community; E. whereas in the space of a very few hours a huge international campaign was mounted, including a petition calling for her immediate and unconditional release; 1. Strongly condemns the arbitrary arrest and detention of Rafah Nashed by the Syrian authorities; 2. Expresses the gravest concern about the situation of Ms Nashed, in view of her precarious state of health; 3. Calls on the Syrian authorities immediately and unconditionally to release Ms Nashed on medical and humanitarian grounds and to guarantee her physical safety and return her to her family without further delay; 4. Demands that the Syrian authorities allow humanitarian organisations and doctors to treat the victims of violence, and that they give them access to all parts of the country and enable them to carry out their legitimate and peaceful work without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions, including judicial harassment; calls on the Syrian authorities to abide by international human rights standards and international commitments guaranteeing freedom of opinion and expression; 5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice‑President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary‑General of the Arab League and the Government and Parliament of the Syrian Arab Republic. (1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0148. (2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0333. (3) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0387.