|Letter to Secretary of State Mrs. Hilary Clinton|
We would like to bring your attention to the case of the Syrian poet and blogger, Tal Al-Mallouhi. She is now 19-years-old (born in 1991) and has been languishing in Syrian jails since January 27, 2009. No one has seen her since her disappearance, not even her parents. Her family doesn’t even know if she is still alive, nor they know the reasons behind her arrest since she has not been charged with a crime. The case has struck a raw nerve among the people of Syria and the region, and a massive international campaign to ascertain Tal’s fate has been mounted in recent weeks. Still, the Syrian authorities refuse to comment on the matter or provide any information about the state and whereabouts of Tal.
Information was published on pro-regime websites over the last few days indicate that Tal is alive and is in good condition and that her case will be referred to the courts soon. Such assurances are insufficient to calm Tal’s family since they fail to provide any explanation as to why Tal’s fate cannot be immediately ascertained, and why access to her cannot be immediately granted, at least to her mother. These assurances seem more designed to defuse the situation than provide real answers. They have only given credence to rumors that Tal may have died under torture. However, lacking any evidence to this, Tal’s family, friends, and supporters have to proceed, for now, on the assumption that she is still alive and have to continue lobbying on her behalf.
For this reason, and being aware of your deep interest in human right cases, especially women’s rights, we would like to urge you to raise the case of Tal with Mr. Moallem, the Syrian Foreign Minister, at your upcoming meeting. We hope that this will bring closure to Tal’s family and her myriad supporters across the world.
We sincerely hope that this case receives your kind attention.
Marah Bukai / Al-Waref Institute
Ammar Abdulhamid / Tharwa Foundation
Washington, D.C. representatives of the international campaign to free Tal Al-Mallouhi