Verdens Bokdag 23.04.:

Les en tekst til støtte for Syria

Appeal for a global reading against the Assad regime and for freedom and democracy in Syria

 The international literature festival berlin (ilb) calls upon intellectuals, writers, artists, cultural institutions, schools, universities, radio and TV stations, to participate in a global reading on 23 April 2012, the World Book Day. Excerpts from the diary of the Syrian author Samar Yazbek will be read – also in front of Syrian embassies. Yazbek has documented in her diary the events in Syria since the beginning of the rebellion last year. She is also the author of the attached appeal. The texts from her diary will be made available to be read in Arabic, English, French and German.

The reading and a commemorative minute of silence will be dedicated to the victims of the revolt. They are meant as a manifestation of our solidarity with the opponents of the Assad regime, and an expression of our hope for a free, democratic and secular country.

In view of the peaceful demonstrations early last year, the Syrian government responded with the militarization of cities, with terror and murder. This, in turn, triggered rebellion in the communities and caused the divide in society and in the army. Soldiers who refused to obey and to kill civilians had to desert. They founded the Free Army of Syria, whose goal is the protection and the defence of the citizens of the country.

Security forces have been using heavy artillery for months to kill and destroy. Cities are under siege and are being pillaged; women are being raped, their dead bodies thrown into the night. Young people are being sent to jail, where they are tortured and murdered. According to human rights activists, about 10,000 people have lost their lives since the beginning of the protests. While Syria’s civilization and the unique history of the country are about to die, the world limits its commitment to the mere observation of Assad’s military undertakings. The events hosted at the World Book Day are meant to overcome the silence by demanding Assad’s resignation and issuing a plea for freedom and democracy in a secular state of Syria.

Please let us know, if you want to join us with a reading on 23 April 2012 an write to: worldwidereading@literaturfestival.com

Appeal to the intellectuals, writers and artists of the world

Today, while we are writing these lines, Syrian children are being silenced, Syrian women are being raped, and their dead bodies are thrown into the night. Cities are under siege and being pillaged, while young people are being imprisoned, tortured, and killed. The Syrian regime has its security services and the army use heavy artillery for major extermination strikes against human beings, their homes, and nature.

The revolt of the great citizens of Syria started a year ago. The protesters carried olive twigs and shouted peaceful slogans. The government answered with murder, terror and with the occupation of cities. This, in turn, encouraged the communities and citizens in the country, who started a rebellion, and it produced a divide between society and the army, and moved soldiers to desert, this being the only choice when they refused to obey commands to kill civilians. These soldiers formed the Syrian Free Army, in order to protect the peaceful civilians of Syria.

There are no members of Al Qaida, no Salafists, nor armed gangs in Syria. The only armed gang committing murder, spreading terror and sectarianism in the country, is Bashar al-Assad’s gang, his family and his clique.
The first banner of universal civilization was raised in Syria, the nation that many consider “the second home of all civilized men and women in the world.” However, Syria, the land of culture and history, the melting pot of urbanism and philosophy, is dying today, before the very eyes of the world, which merely watches the dictator who is about to extinguish the Syrian civilization and its people.
The Syrian people stand alone, and their blood flows like a river. Yet, they refuse to give up their demands of freedom, dignity, and justice. There is still hope that the rule of law can be established. Dear friends, when will you speak up in view of this barbarism, in view of these crimes? When

will you cease to be mere observers of the tragedy that our people suffer today? This is our cry to the world: We implore you! Without you the Apartheid regime in South Africa

would not have been abolished. Please exert pressure and call upon your governments, so that they act quickly in order to save our people and our beautiful country, where the arts, creativity, and life are at stake today!
Dear friends, writers, artists, and intellectuals of the world: Stand up, and save the Syrian people from death. Please join the most courageous, the noblest and the most difficult revolution, the least possible revolution in modern history.
Because to join our revolution means to share the values of freedom, truth, justice and civilization.
Samar Yazbek

World Book Day April 23.: Read a text for Syria

Appeal for a global reading against the Assad regime and for freedom and democracy in Syria 

The international literature festival berlin (ilb) calls upon intellectuals, writers, artists, cultural institutions, schools, universities, radio and TV stations, to participate in a global reading on 23 April 2012, the World Book Day. Excerpts from the diary of the Syrian author Samar Yazbek will be read – also in front of Syrian embassies. Yazbek has documented in her diary the events in Syria since the beginning of the rebellion last year. She is also the author of the attached appeal. The texts from her diary will be made available to be read in Arabic, English, French and German.

The reading and a commemorative minute of silence will be dedicated to the victims of the revolt. They are meant as a manifestation of our solidarity with the opponents of the Assad regime, and an expression of our hope for a free, democratic and secular country.

In view of the peaceful demonstrations early last year, the Syrian government responded with the militarization of cities, with terror and murder. This, in turn, triggered rebellion in the communities and caused the divide in society and in the army. Soldiers who refused to obey and to kill civilians had to desert. They founded the Free Army of Syria, whose goal is the protection and the defence of the citizens of the country.

Security forces have been using heavy artillery for months to kill and destroy. Cities are under siege and are being pillaged; women are being raped, their dead bodies thrown into the night. Young people are being sent to jail, where they are tortured and murdered. According to human rights activists, about 10,000 people have lost their lives since the beginning of the protests. While Syria’s civilization and the unique history of the country are about to die, the world limits its commitment to the mere observation of Assad’s military undertakings. The events hosted at the World Book Day are meant to overcome the silence by demanding Assad’s resignation and issuing a plea for freedom and democracy in a secular state of Syria.

Please let us know, if you want to join us with a reading on 23 April 2012 an write to: worldwidereading@literaturfestival.com

Appeal to the intellectuals, writers and artists of the world

Today, while we are writing these lines, Syrian children are being silenced, Syrian women are being raped, and their dead bodies are thrown into the night. Cities are under siege and being pillaged, while young people are being imprisoned, tortured, and killed. The Syrian regime has its security services and the army use heavy artillery for major extermination strikes against human beings, their homes, and nature.
The revolt of the great citizens of Syria started a year ago. The protesters carried olive twigs and shouted peaceful slogans. The government answered with murder, terror and with the occupation of cities. This, in turn, encouraged the communities and citizens in the country, who started a rebellion, and it produced a divide between society and the army, and moved soldiers to desert, this being the only choice when they refused to obey commands to kill civilians. These soldiers formed the Syrian Free Army, in order to protect the peaceful civilians of Syria.
There are no members of Al Qaida, no Salafists, nor armed gangs in Syria. The only armed gang committing murder, spreading terror and sectarianism in the country, is Bashar al-Assad’s gang, his family and his clique.
The first banner of universal civilization was raised in Syria, the nation that many consider “the second home of all civilized men and women in the world.” However, Syria, the land of culture and history, the melting pot of urbanism and philosophy, is dying today, before the very eyes of the world, which merely watches the dictator who is about to extinguish the Syrian civilization and its people.
The Syrian people stand alone, and their blood flows like a river. Yet, they refuse to give up their demands of freedom, dignity, and justice. There is still hope that the rule of law can be established. Dear friends, when will you speak up in view of this barbarism, in view of these crimes? When

will you cease to be mere observers of the tragedy that our people suffer today? This is our cry to the world: We implore you! Without you the Apartheid regime in South Africa

would not have been abolished. Please exert pressure and call upon your governments, so that they act quickly in order to save our people and our beautiful country, where the arts, creativity, and life are at stake today!
Dear friends, writers, artists, and intellectuals of the world: Stand up, and save the Syrian people from death. Please join the most courageous, the noblest and the most difficult revolution, the least possible revolution in modern history.
Because to join our revolution means to share the values of freedom, truth, justice and civilization.
Samar Yazbek

Stor bekymring for syriske kolleger

Styremedlem i Norsk PEN og forlagsredaktør i Aschehoug, Asbjørn Øverås, har nære forbindelser til syriske skribenter.  Han uttrykker nå sterk bekymring, blant annet for forfatteren, journalisten og dramatikerenSamar Yazbek.  Hun har fått publisert en dagbok fra opptøyene i Syria i arabiske medier.  Men etter et intervju hun ga til et italiensk magasin 24. april har det vært umulig å oppnå kontakt med henne.  Øverås er overbevist om at hun har fått utreisetillatelse, men er redd hun kan ha blitt arrestert.  Han forsøker nå å finne ut hva som kan ha skjedd henne gjennom hennes engelske oversetter i London.

I en forstad til Stockholm gjør den syriske poeten Faraj Bayrakdar alt han kan for å sørge for at beretninger og bilder fra revolusjonen i Syria når fram til internasjonale medier som er nektet adgang til landet.  «Jeg gråter med mitt folk, men gleder meg over det motet jeg ser», sier Bayrakdar i et intervju med Dagens Nyheter i dag (12.05).

Samtidig uttrykker PEN International stor bekymring og tar skarpt avstand fra drap, massearrestasjoner og forsvinninger blant sivile, blant dem mange journalister, bloggere og skribenter.  I en melding fra 11. mai ber PEN International om at alle borgere som har uttrykt sin mening om det syriske diktaturet gjennom fredelige demonstrasjoner, settes fri.  PEN Internationals etterforsker, Ghias Aljundi, er selv syrer og satt fenglset for sine meninger før han kom seg ut av landet.

Den engelske teksten følger her:

SYRIA: Journalists, bloggers and writers detained, fears for safety. 

PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) strongly condemns the killing, mass arrests and disappearances of civilians including several journalists, bloggers, writers and activists in the crackdown on peaceful anti-government protests which has been taking place across Syrian cities since mid-March 2011. PEN is seriously concerned for the welfare of at least five journalists and bloggers arrested for writing about the protests. All are held incommunicado and considered to be at risk of torture and ill-treatment. There are mounting concerns for their safety. PEN calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all those currently detained in Syria for the peaceful exercise of their opinions, and urgently seeks guarantees of their safety. It reminds the Syrian authorities of their obligations to protect the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Syria is a signatory, and is alarmed at the apparent use of excessive force to suppress peaceful dissent.

According to PEN’s information, anti-government protests were sparked in mid- March 2011 and have since spread across the country. Mass arrests have been taking place and security officers have responded to the continuing protests with excessive force, using tear gas and live bullets to disperse demonstrators. Scores of civilians have reportedly been killed and many more wounded. The following journalists are amongst those believed to be currently detained:

Dorothy Parvaz: Aljazeera.net correspondent, arrested on 29 April 2011.
Mahmoud Issa: Journalist and writer, arrested on 19 April 2011.
Khaled Sid Mohand, freelance journalist for a number of news outlets including  Le Monde, arrested on 12 April 2011.
Zaid Mastu, Al-Arabiya net correspondent, arrested on 12 April 2011.
Mohamed Dibo: Journalist and writer, arrested on 12 April 2011.

With the internet and media already severely curtailed in recent years, the Syrian authorities have imposed even greater restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly in reaction to recent events. Foreign reporters and correspondents have been asked to leave the country and access to any independent media is denied.

Useful links:
Amnesty International statement (25 April 2011)
Amnesty International Statement (22 April 2011)
Latest BBC news report: Syrian army tanks ‘ moving towards Hama’ 

RECOMMENDED ACTION

Please send appeals immediately to the Syrian authorities:
Condemning the widespread arrest of journalists and bloggers for reporting on the recent protests, which the WiPC believes is a clear violation of their right to freedom of expression;
Calling on the Syrian authorities to investigate allegations of torture of detainees;
Calling for the release of all those currently detained in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Syria is a signatory.

APPEALS TO:
His Excellency President Bashar al-Assad
President of the Republic
Presidential Palace
Abu Rummaneh, Al-Rashid Street
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic
Fax:                 + 963 11 332 3410

His Excellency Said Sammour
Minister of Interior, Ministry of Interior
Merjeh Circle
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic
Fax:                 + 963 11 222 3428
Email:                admin@civilaffair-moi.gov.sy

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Syria in your country if possible.

For further information please contact Ghias Aljundi  at PEN International Writers in Prison Committee, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, email: Ghias.Aljundi@pen-international.org