IRIN News reported (5/2) that security agents have arrested Fateh Jamous, a prominent member of the Communist Labour Party upon his arrival at Damascus airport on Monday (5/1):
The Damascus-based National Organisation for Human Rights (NOHR) said in a statement that Fateh Jammous, a member of the broad coalition of Syrian opposition figures known as the “Damascus Declaration”, was arrested on 30 April following his return from a six-week trip abroad. Jammous had apparently travelled to France, Sweden and Britain, where he met with other Syrian opposition figures.
Jamous has been held incommunicado ever since. A report (5/3) by Amnesty International added, "[Jamous's] family has not been allowed to see him and have not been given any information about him. He is in danger of torture." Jamous had been imprisoned for 17 years before his release in 2000. He has since been repeatedly harrassed.
Human Rights lawyer and activist Anwar al-Bunni added that "Islamists" may have been on the list of opposition figures who met with Jamous in Europe (Arabic. AFP via Elaph, 5/2/06). However, a statement from the London-based Syrian Democratic Current adamantly denied that Jamous met with members of the Muslim Brotherhood in London and called such reports regime-disseminated falsehoods that circulated on regime-friendly web publications (Arabic. tsdp.org, 5/6/06).
The AI report gave more detail on Jamous's activity in Europe noting that he "spoke at an Amnesty International conference in Sweden on human rights and asylum issues, and met the Swedish Parliamentary Human Rights Group. Among his activities in the UK was appearing in a radio programme promoting Arab-Kurdish dialogue and peaceful reform in Syria."
According to the NOHR statement quoted in IRIN News, "Jamous was arrested for his refusal to respond to a summons by security agents shortly before his trip, in addition to his reported meetings with fellow opposition figures."
Bahia Mardini managed to reach Jamous on his cell as he was still at the airport and before going incommunicado. He told her that he had returned on his own will and was going to obey the summons after returning home. Mardini's Elaph report noted that Jamous had been prevented from traveling to Europe in 2004, when he was invited to speak by the Danish Parliament as well as other Syrian groups and organizations in Europe (Arabic. 5/1/06).