A Message from the Detainee’s Family
We, the family, friends, and associates of Ragheed, who has been detained without trial or known charges since November 24, 1981, urgently appeal to the Syrian authorities for his immediate release. We stand in full solidarity with him and all other incarcerated human rights activists and prisoners of conscience in our nation, who are held solely for their peaceful and lawful human rights efforts aimed at upholding civil liberties.
We express our deep worry for their physical and mental well-being and hold the Syrian authorities accountable for their safety. We invite everyone who values human freedom to join us in advocating for the freedom of our son, who has been forcibly disappeared for thirty-eight years, by endorsing this statement. Each additional day Ragheed remains imprisoned erodes our collective humanity.
Ragheed Al-Tatari was born on December 25, 1954, in Damascus. He enrolled in the Air Force in 1972 and graduated in 1975. Notably, he was the only one in his squadron who was not a member of the Baath Party. His detention began when internal unrest and protests were shaking Syria during the late ’70s and early ’80s, at the time he was a Lieutenant.
In 1980, he left for Jordan after a friend fled there in a warplane. After spending eight months in Jordan, he moved to Egypt under United Nations supervision. While in Egypt, President Anwar Sadat was assassinated, sparking street violence, and forcing Ragheed to return to Syria, where he was arrested on November 24, 1981. After experiencing extreme torture, he was hospitalized for two months and later returned to the State Security branch in Kafr Sousse.
In 1985, he was moved to Mezzeh Military Prison. Five months later, he was taken to a military court where his statements were manipulated to charge him with espionage, though he didn’t learn of this charge until 30 years into his detention. He was later moved between several prisons, contracting tuberculosis due to ongoing torture and poor conditions. In 2011, he was transferred to Damascus Central Prison, where he was denied visitation rights for four years. In 2016, he was moved to As-Suwayda Prison, where he remains to this day.