Commander “Ammar Saqqar” must be Released to Avert Popular Escalation and Resentment
On May 8, 2017, Ahrar al Sham Islamic Movement – an Islamic armed opposition faction, targeted a number of bases for the faction “Tajamou’ Fastaqem Kama Umert” -an armed opposition faction- with heavy weapons. The attack took place in Babisqa village, northern suburbs of Idlib governorate, and resulted in Ahrar al Sham taking over the bases following Tajamou’ Fastaqem Kama Umert’s retreat.
After the attack “Ammar Saqqar”, the former spokesperson for Tajamou’ Fastaqem Kama Umert, contacted Ahrar al Sham to visit his brother whom they detained. After he was granted permission for the visit, Ahrar al Sham arrested him along with a number of Tajamou’ Fastaqem Kama Umert fighters as soon as he arrived at a base for the group in Idlib suburbs on May 12, 2017.
Ahrar al Sham Islamic Movement released the fighters they arrested along with “Ammar Saqqar” a few days after they were arrested. During their arrest, they were tortured and beaten at their place of detention in one of Ahrar al Sham military bases, while “Ammar Saqqar” was kept but without being subjected to torture.
Since the moment “Ammar Saqqar” was arrested, Ahrar al Sham Islamic Movement didn’t file any charges, and they didn’t conduct a public or secret trial. They also didn’t let him hire an attorney, and his detention conditions were poor and he was subjected to ill-treatment. None of his family was allowed to visit him unless for one time and for mere minutes, and it was done with the presence of some fighters from Ahrar al Sham Islamic Movement.
All of these violations and harassments compelled the detainee to start a hunger strike on June 7, 2017, that is still ongoing at the time of this writing. His family told us that his health is generally worsening.