Roger L. Simon

For Our Brother Writer in Syria

The Syrian author and blogger Ammar Abdulhamid is calling for the blogosphere to unite in an email campaign to the Syrian Embassy in Washington, advocating “Freedom for the Attasy 8!” and other political prisoners of the Baathist fascist regime of his country. I don’t think we have any choice but to give our wholehearted support to this brave man who writes to us on his blog in Damascus:

At one point a couple of months ago, when I was going through that period of interrogations and travel ban, some of my fellow bloggers offered to flood the Syrian Embassy in DC with emails on my behalf, now I urge them to do it on behalf of the Atassy 8 and all the other prisoners of conscience in Syria. On the even of the Baath Conference, the President, and other elements in the regime, are trying to play it tough. I think we should do so as well.

This regime needs to be isolated like never before. While dissidents need to be empowered. We are the source of legitimacy and credibility of any regime, without us, without an active and vibrant dissent movement, no regime in the region should have any credibility whatsoever.

As for the international community, no country or government in the world who claims to be democratic and to be in support of democratization and human rights in our region or anywhere in the world, could maintain its credibility if it gives up on any of us, regardless of our political affiliations, so long as we are committed to basic principles of democracy and civil liberties.

As such, the Atassy 8 may not be known to you, you may not know what they have done over the years, you may not know what their exact political philosophy is (I don’t think they know that themselves really), but suffice it to know that they were committed to democracy, committed to reform and committed to dialogue. That should be enough for them to deserve our support.

So, flood the embassies with your emails, this is the least that we can do. Student groups that can hold vigils for their sake are more than encouraged to do so. Those who can write articles, op-eds or blog entries about them, go ahead and do so. Freedom for the Atassy 8 and all prisoners of conscience in Syria should be our rallying cry from now on. No reform package will be accepted from this regime if it does not include strict guarantees for our basic freedoms. We will not live at the whim of anyone.

Wow.

Some interesting information on the human rights situation in Syria here and here. The email address of the embassy in Washington is [email protected] Other email addresses are here, including the Syrian Mission to the U. N. It’s worth reading all of Ammar’s post linked above for its humanity.

UPDATE: Martin Larsen reports that syrembassy.net address did not “send” for him. It did for me (so far), but please report any problems below. Also, feel free to add any recommended email addresses below (no jokes, please).

MORE: Thanks to Dymphna in the comments for pointing to this other terrific Syrian blog. We all know from the history of Eastern Europe and Russia that totalitarianism can produce great writing, some of it like this blogger Karfan wildly funny in the dark comic manner.