Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid writes on his weblog that the health of jailed dissident economist Dr. Aref Dalilah is reportedly "failing quickly and he is liable to collapse at any given moment."
Abdulhamid adds that according to his sources, "prison doctors have reportedly recommended that he be subjected to a variety of tests and scans, but, so far, prison authorities have not responded to their demands."
Quoting sources close to Dalilah, Abdulhamid writes, "Dr. Dalilah’s health is getting worse and his walk is very slow and… his left leg and his left arm are not normal, he moved them hardly… [I]n [a] former visit, his face was yellow and his eyes were red and he was very tired… he has been vomiting for two days."
He adds that some family members are afraid that the cause of the vomiting is a blood clot in the brain. According to the sources, the prison doctors ordered he undergo a brain scan, but the prison administration has not yet taken any action.
Abdulhamid's sources report that Dalilah's family is worried because of his age (64) and his history of blood clotting in his leg. "This man needs help quickly, his health is getting worse day after day and he is too old," the sources add.
The details of the story were also reported in a statement by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published by Elaph. (Arabic. 7/4/06).
Dalilah was Dean of the Faculty of Economics at the Syrian University before he was fired from his post in 1998, reportedly for his outspoken views, and he subsequently went into self-imposed exile that same year. He returned to Syria in 2000 but was arrested in September 2001 and charged with "attempting to change the constitution by illegal means." He was sentenced by the State Security Court to ten years and has been in jail since 2001.
A July 2005 Amnesty International report details his chronic health problems and his maltreatment by the Syrian authorities since his imprisonment.