"(New York) – The prominent human rights lawyer Khalil Maatouk was abducted
while driving to his office on the morning of October 2, 2012, and has not been
seen since. Maatouk’s family and his lawyer suspect that government forces are
holding him incommunicado. The Syrian government should immediately release him
if he is in its custody, Human Rights Watch said.
According to a close relative of Maatouk, he disappeared on October 2 while
driving to work with a family friend, Mohamed Zaza, who is also missing. Zaza
was driving him to work because Maatouk, 53, has health problems that make it
difficult for him to drive. The men never arrived at their destination and their
families have not been able to locate their car. “Khalil Maatouk’s disappearance is a stark reminder of the grave risks that
brave human rights activists are taking in Syria just to document the daily
horrors,” said Sarah Leah
Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human
Rights Watch. “These disappearances will only end when the government finally
lifts the veil from its detention facilities and lets monitors in.”...."