Tal al-Mallohi

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Tal al-Mallohi
Personal details
Born (1991-01-04) January 4, 1991 (age 23)
Homs city,  Syria
Nationality Syrian

Tal Dosr al-Mallohi (alternately, al-Mallouhi) (Arabic: طل الملوحي‎) born in Homs January 4, 1991[1] is a Syrian blogger from Homs. She has been called "the youngest prisoner of conscience in the Arab world".[1] On 27 December 2009, Tal was taken from her home by officers of one of the security offices in Syria because she has written poems about Palestine and social commentaries on her blog. Ever since, her parents didn't know which security office has detained her nor where they can visit their daughter.[2] Tal al-Mallohi has been accused by the Syrian government of being a spy for the United States of America,[3][4] and sentenced on February 15, 2011 to five years in prison.[5]

Issue of Tal al-Mallohi[edit]

According to reports issued by human rights organizations, the state security in Syria summoned al-Mallohi in December 2009 to interrogate her regarding an article she had published on her blog. Few days later, a number of security elements visited her house and seized her computer, CDs, books, and other personal items.[6][7][8] Since that date, Tal's parents haven't heard anything about their daughter, her charges, or any information on where she was detained. Moreover, Tal was deprived from participating in the high school exams International Baccalaureate.

In September 2010, Ahed Mallohi (Ahed al-Mallohi), Tal's mother, in a letter appealed to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to intervene and order the release of her daughter. She emphasized that her daughter had no links to "any organizations in Syria, opposition or otherwise" and her daughter does not grasp anything about politics.[9] She noted that her grandfather, Mohammad Dia al-Mallohi, was a minister under late president Hafez al-Assad and he served as Minister of State for the People's Assembly.[1][not in citation given] The mother has received a promise by "one of the security authorities" that her daughter will be released before the month of Ramadan, but the month ended without this promise being achieved.[9] A few days after, rumors spread that Tal is under extreme danger of death under torture, which was refuted by Syrian activists at the time.[10]

On 20 September 2010, "DP News" website, known for its close ties to the government, published a brief article saying that Tal Mallohi was in detention at the "Duma" Women's prison (20 km northwest of Damascus) and that she was referred to the judiciary authorities on charges of espionage.[11] Ahed al-Mallohi in a phone call with the Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, On September 22, objected to the validity of this story saying she visited the prison many times but they always told her that her daughter had not been transferred to the prison.

Protests against the detention of Tal al-Mallohi[edit]

Free-Tal-Mallohi-Protest-Outside-Syrian-Embassy-Cairo

The arrest prompted many large waves of criticism by bloggers and Human Rights activists in the Arab world and internationally. Arab bloggers published attacks on what is considered repressive random arrests in Syria. The Syrian government (which prohibits political opposition, and human rights activism and has imposed emergency law since the Baath Party took power in 1963) did not issue any official response to or comment on the criticism nor have they provided any information about Tal's whereabouts. It is the policy of the Syrian government to not comment on political arrests.

Egyptian human rights activists on September 12, 2010 issued an invitation to organize a protest held in front of the Syrian Embassy in Cairo on September 19, 2010. It was a protest to show solidarity with the young detainee and to demand her immediate release and disclose information about her fate and whereabouts. The organization Reporters without Borders was also called upon to pressure the Syrian government to put an immediate end to this arbitrary detention. They also demanded that the Syrian government releases Tal al-Mallohi immediately.

Human Rights Watch demanded the immediate release of Tal al-Mallohi.[12] "Detaining a high school student for nine months without charge is typical of the cruel, arbitrary behavior of Syria's security services," Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

Amnesty International said that the detention of al-Mallohi is a "mystery" for the organization, adding that "the case of this student raises many questions, there is no clear reason for her arrest, and isolation from the world in this way". She also said that Amnesty International believes that Al-Mallohi is a Prisoner of Conscience, and the Syrian government imprisoned her solely because she exercised her right to express her thoughts and aspirations in a peaceful manner. Also noting that Tal is exposed to risk of torture and other types of abuse.

Protests have taken place around the world in: Cairo, Pakistan, Germany, France, and Washington D.C., to name just a few. In addition to these protests, the first Syrian Virtual Protest took place on October 2, 2010, for the Freedom of Tal al-Mallohi.

Earlier arrests of Syrian bloggers[edit]

The case of al-Mallohi is not the first of its kind. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Syrians have been arrested due to their blogging, political activism or expressing their views. Many of whom were sentenced to long prison terms.

Reporters without borders reported that a number of at least four influential Syrian internet activists have been behind bars in the year of 2009, making Syria classified among more than 12 countries as "enemies of the Internet" by the report. Syrian authorities also banned an estimated two hundred website, including Facebook, YouTube and even Wikipedia, but the Syrians citizens and human rights activists, and most users have found ways to get around the bans.

Blogs of Tal al-Mallohi[edit]

Tal al-Mallohi published her writings in three blogs, one of which is listed under the name " My Blog" [13] and is most likely that she has been arrested due to an article or articles published on this blog specifically. Publications on "My blog" consisted of poems and articles in support of the Palestinian cause and critical of the Union for the Mediterranean,which is a diplomatic union pushed by France, between Arab and European states as well as Israel. On My Blog" a picture of Gandhi is published with "will always remain an example" written above it. Many pictures of Sheikh Raed Salah, and the sons of Mahmoud al-Zahar, "martyrs" and pictures of Tayseer Erdogan, with the words Thank Venezuela. And an image of George W. Bush's face on the body of Hitler. The Background image says "No to torture." Tal's last post was on September 6 of 2009 which was a poem entitled "Jerusalem, Our Lady of the cities".

The second is the blog titled "Letters" (written by Tal "English Latters") and the first "message" posted on this blog was entitled "The First message to man in this world" dated January 19, 2009 [14]

Tal's third blog is titled "The destroyed Palestinian villages" and the latest blog entries from the village where the monastery of St dated May 3, 2009.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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