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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Khalil Maatouk


Detained Since: October 2, 2012.

Charges: No official charges.

Sentence: No official sentence.

Biography: Khalil Maatouk is the executive director of the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research, and the head of the Syrian Center for the Defense of Detainees. He defended numerous activists before and during the Syrian uprising, and has co-authored many texts on justice and respect for fundamental freedoms. One lawyer working on his case said Khalil had previously been summoned to various security branches because of his work and frequent travels.

On the morning of October 2, 2012, Mohamed Zaza, a friend of Mr. Maatouk's was driving him to work, as advanced lung disease prevented Mr. Maatouk from getting around on his own. At 9:45 a.m. Mr. Zaza answered a phone call from his wife. That was the last time anyone was able to reach the two men.

Since then, Khalil has been sighted by unofficial sources in several different security branches, including State Security Branch 285 in Kafr Soussa, Damascus and a branch of Air Force Intelligence in Damascus. He was last seen in September 2013 at the notorious Palestine Branch 235 of Military Intelligence in Damascus. Mr. Maatouk's lawyer is particularly worried about his client's health, as he is on a strict medication regimen, including injections he regularly gets at the hospital.

Advocate: Sen. Ted Budd (R-NC)