According to information received, the security authorities reported that Riad Ahmad Khalil died on 28 August 2010 due to internal bleeding in the stomach. His close family said that he was not suffering from any symptoms of life-threatening diseases, or health problems.
He was buried on the same day that he died, in Afrin, under tight security that did not allow even his father, mother and wife to inspect his body. His sons Ahmed and Damhat are still detained by the security services, and they were not allowed to participate in the funerals or to grieve with their family.
These organisations send their deepest sympathies to the family of Riad Ahmed Khalil. They hold the Syrian security services fully responsible, and call for a fair, transparent enquiry to investigate the circumstances of his death, and to identify and punish those responsible. His family and relatives should be compensated for their material and moral loss.
The organisations also call for the abolition of Article (16) of Legislative Decree No. (14) of 1969, and  the abolition of all communications and decrees that prevent security and justice, that govern the inspection of places of detention, and control by government institutions and non-governmental organizations, for access to lawyers and doctors, and for communication between detainees and their families.
The organisations call for the abolition of Legislative Decree (69) of 2008, which amended the Military Penal Code in Syria, and which limits decisions to prosecute police officers, political security and those accused of torture under the command of the army and armed forces, despite their connection to the Ministry of the Interior.
They demand the cancellation of the State of Emergency imposed on Syrian citizens since 1963, because it allows the most serious violation rights and freedoms of citizens that are guaranteed by charters and international laws on human rights. It gives the government absolute power to deal with citizens by way of detention, seizure of funds, banning of rallies, arrests, arbitrary investigation, monitoring of calls and messages, control of newspapers etc., without giving reasons and justifications. It takes away the right of citizens to apply for a judicial review where there is an objection to those acts that constitute crimes from the perspective of international law.
3 September 2010