European Parliament Should Condition EC Aid on Human Rights Improvements

The regime of President Hafez al-Asad, which has ruled in authoritarian fashion since 1970, continues to merit the ignominious distinction of holding some of the world’s longest-serving political prisoners, detained without charge or trial for over twenty years. Despite the welcome mass releases over the last two years of thousands of Syria’s security and political prisoners, some 4,000 remain incarcerated. Given the regime’s apparent resolve to end its previous isolation from the West, we call on the European Community to continue to play a lead role in calling attention to human rights abuses in Syria.

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