Free Khayer and colleages

25 September 2013

“We demand their freedom, we demand freedom for every detainee. A year behind bars. We want them, we want them all”

These slogans are all a part of an invitation to protest on September 27 at 6 pm, in front of the Russian Embassy in Beirut, where a group of activists and friends of the detainees Abdel Aziz al-Khayer, Maher Tahhan and Iyas Ayyash plan to protest this Friday, in order to voice their support for the detainees and demand their freedom after a year in regime prisons.

Fadwa Mahmoud, the campaign’s organizer and mother of detainee Maher Tahhan said to Syria Untold:

“Protecting the participants in The Rescue conference was Russia’s responsibility. The three detainees were arrested one day before the conference was held. Thus, we chose the headquarter of the Russian Embassy, to prompt the president of Russia to talk the Syrian regime into releasing Al-Khayyer and his friends.”

The campaign includes a list of slogans and signs that will be held during the September 27 demonstration, mostly focusing on demanding freedom for the detainees and other prisoners of conscience.  “Wasn’t Russia supposed to guarantee the safety of the participants in The Rescue conference?” , “Where are Abdel Aziz al-Khayer and his colleagues?"

The campaign was launched after obtaining the approval of the Lebanese authorities. The founders created an event inviting activists to participate in the protest that will be covered by the media, and will be attended by several Lebanese figures to show solidarity with the detainees.

Soon after, the event turned viral, with activists and followers of the Syrian uprising sharing messages and showing their support. Activist Hazem Homsi wrote:

“Is the regime so desperate that it needs to detain intellectuals, artists, creators and everyone, only to save itself?”

Through peaceful resistance in the face of the regime´s killing machine, tis protest aspires to raise awareness about the detainees and about the drama of Syria prisoners of conscience.


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad