Khalil Ma’touq

Lawyer and human rights defender

Arrested by the Syrian authorities, on 2 October 2012, in the Damascus suburb of Sahnaya

His fate and whereabouts remain unknown

Khalil Ma’touq is the executive director of the Syrian Centre for Legal Studies and Research and the head of the Syrian Centre for the Defence of Detainees. As a lawyer, he has defended numerous activists, including Mazen Darwish, before and during the current crisis in front of military, state security and civil courts. He publicly denounced practices depriving his clients of their right to a fair trial.

On the morning of 2 October 2012, Khalil Ma’touq left his home in the Damascus suburb of Sahnaya, and headed to his office accompanied by a friend, Mohamed Thatha. Neither of the men has been seen since. A Syrian lawyer who is investigating his detention, has confirmed that Khalil Ma’touq is being detained in a Political Security detention facility in Damascus. Despite repeated requests by his relatives, the Syrian authorities have failed to provide information on Khalil Ma’touq’s fate and whereabouts and he remains detained in conditions amounting to enforced disappearance. Having thus been placed outside the protection of the law, there are serious concerns for his physical and mental integrity, accentuated by his need of medical treatment for a chronic disease.