Former chief of the Supreme State Security Court “Fayez Al-Nuri” | Another “tyrant” passes away, but Syrians’ aspiration to a free homeland never dies
Since Al-Assad’s family held power, Syrian people have suffered from intimidating laws and authoritarian nature of the ruling class and tycoons close to it. Meanwhile, anti-regime politicians and human rights activists have endured have been subjected to unjust procedures and atrocities just for “dreaming to enjoy a safe and democratic homeland.”
With issuing a plenty of death sentences against regime opponents during trials that lasted for no more a few minuets, the former chief of the Supreme State Security Court “Fayez Al-Nuri”, known as the “State Security Butcher”, who died yesterday after a struggle with hemiparesis for years, was a pillar of repression which has been the cornerstone of the regime structure and its governing policies.
In an exclusive SOHR interview with the prominent politician and regime opponent, Fateh Jamous, who had been sentenced to prison by Al-Nuri, said “Al-Nuri was a ‘tyrannical arm’ of the Syrian regime, and he was appointed as the chief of several courts in Syria and was maintained in his post, as a judge, for a long time, during which he issued a plenty of unjust and repressing sentences. In one of my trial’s sessions, Al-Nuri prevented me from advocating for myself in light of the serious and false accusations regarding my believe in the communist ideology.”
Jamous told SOHR that while he was arguing his case, Al-Nuri attempted to stop him several times and talked, in a threatening tone, to another judge known as Abdullah Al-Telli saying “let him tell whatever he want.”
“This threatening tone made me furious and spurred me to continue the challenge, especially since I was become aware of the fact that the leaders of my party and I would be sentenced to 15 years in prison, as well as additional three years in security services’ branches,” added Fateh Jamous.
“It seems that a serious national division is looming. I only advise every judge not to follow the example of the authoritative judge ‘Fayez Al-Nuri’ and not to stay in their posts for a long time in order not to be turned into a tool of repression.”
On the other hand, the former political prisoner, Adnan Al-Dabas told SOHR “the death of ‘Fayez Al-Nuri’, brings to mind the unjust sentences issued by this exclusive court -the Supreme State Security Court- including death sentences. The Supreme State Security Court was established on February 25, 1966, after the coup of the 23rd of February 1966, in an attempt by Al-Baath party to repress everyone opposing the socialist ruling party. The objectives of establishing that court at that time can be summarised in the following main points:
Countering crimes of treason: This category of crimes includes fighting in the ranks of enemies against Syria, complicity with a foreign country to attack Syria, involving in plots with enemies by helping them to paralyze the national defences, providing food or cloths to spies and soldiers of enemies’ armies and facilitation of escaping of prisoners of war or detained citizens of the enemies.
Countering crimes of espionage: This category of crimes includes access to prohibited places with the aim to obtain secret documents and information.
Countering crimes related to socialist transformation.”
“Al-Nuri, who was from Deir Ezzor, was appointed as the chief of that court in 1979, according to a decree by Rifaat Al-Assad who had been entrusted to appoint heads and leaders of the governmental institutions in 1975. Since then, Al-Assad’s family has managed to dominate all political affairs in Syria, especially after the dissolution of craft unions in 1979, including the Syrian Bar Association, which opposed the regime’s policies, including clamping down on freedom of speech and opinion.”
“The death of Fayez Al-Nuri is a stop to highlight again the plight of Syrians who have been victims of the unfair sentences issued by that court.”
“In 1990, I had the honour to distribute a secret political statement issued by our party, the Communist Labour Party, where we as political activists were prosecuted. The statement appeals to lawyers and human rights activists to advocate for the political prisoners in Syrian courthouses, after the regime president issued a decision referring political prisoners to the court for prosecution. This decision was the first of its kind ever in Syria. The political prisoners had the right to advocate for themselves, especially since thousands of detainees were held in the prisons of Palmyra, Adra and other prisoners in Hama and Aleppo since 1980. While some others were transported from security branches and some other prisons to Saydnaya prison in 1987. From regime prisons, comrades of our party and of other movements started to prepare legal arguments proving their guiltlessness, in accordance with the state constitution. In the case that these detainees were summoned by the Supreme State Security Court, they would prove their guiltlessness, as jurisdiction of that court does not cover their accusations as being political activists affiliated to communist and left parties. However, the sentences had been prepared previously by a committee comprising officers of the regime’s security services, headed by officers of the presidential palace. The trial was held by Al-Nuri, the chief of the Supreme State Security Court at that time, after he prevented journalists and residents from attending its sessions. Only some lawyers were allowed to attend the trial, but they were prevented from defending the detainees, while the legal arguments provided by the lawyers and detainees were not even been considered and were thrown away.”
“Unjust sentences were issued against us, as Syrian citizens not just detainees, where many were sentenced to prison for durations exceeding those ones mentioned in the Syrian penal code. One example of the unjust sentences, among many, was Al-Nuri’s decision to multiply the sentence of one of the detainees who wanted to express his rejection the court’s judgement. There were many other examples of ‘shameful’ trials held by that court under the presidency of Al-Nuri who used to underestimate and abuse the detainees. Fayez Al-Nuri, who ‘devoted’ himself entirely to serve the ruling class’ security agenda and tenaciously defended and justified crimes committed by the Syrian regime, has died, while aspiration of Syrians who have been dreaming of a free homeland and a state of law is still alive.”