DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) – More than two dozen Syrian and Arab human rights groups are urging Syria to release an ailing economist who has been in jail there for about seven years. They say 68-year-old Aref Dalila’s health is deteriorating.
He was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempting to change the Syrian constitution, inciting armed rebellion and spreading false information. A statement issued Saturday and signed by the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria and 25 other Arab human rights groups says Dalila is suffering from diabetes and phlebitis, a potentially deadly condition that causes the arteries to become inflamed.
It calls his detention a “flagrant infringement of all international charters” and calls for his immediate release.