Dissent Still Hostage to a Legacy of Terror
In December 1995, some 1,200 political prisoners in Syria were released pursuant to an amnesty marking the 25th anniversary of the rule of Pres. Asad. It was widely reported that most, if not all, of the released prisoners were members or supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. These releases were marred by reports that some sentenced political prisoners continue to be pressured to sign statements of support for the government, and repudiate their past political activities, as a condition for release. Furthermore, 21 prisoners who refused to sign such statements were recently transferred to Tadmor military prison, a facility infamous throughout Syria for the extremely brutal abuses that have occurred there since 1980.