Rights group calls on Syrian gov't to reveal location of translator

August 31, 2007 23:32


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Human Rights Watched called on the Syrian government Friday to reveal the location of a translator who was allegedly summoned by state security over a month ago. The group said it sent a letter to Syrian President Bashar Assad on Monday requesting information on the whereabouts of Ali al-Barazi, 45, who was reportedly called in by military intelligence on July 28. "Were concerned that government forces may have disappeared Ali al-Barazi," Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch, said in a written statement. "This is an extremely serious crime under international law, and we hold the government fully responsible for his well-being and safe return to his family." Al-Barazi's family and friends have not heard from him since he was summoned by the government, the group said. Military intelligence has told the translator's relatives that he is not in their custody, it added. The government could not be reached for comment because Friday is the weekend in Syria. Human Rights Watch said al-Barazi works at the Syrian European Documentation Center, a Damascus-based private company that translates the group's documents into Arabic.

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