A former political prisoner, 70-year old Ghassan Najjar, has offered to take the place of Fidaa Akram al-Hourani, the head of the Damascus Declaration for Democratic National Change who was arrested in December.
By OMAR ABDULLATIF
HOMS, May 5, 2008 (MENASSAT) – Ghassan Najjar made his unusual proposal in an article which has been published by many opposition and independent websites and newspapers in Syria.
"An educated militant lady such as Dr. Fidaa al-Hourani has been suffering from sickness and imprisonment for more than three months. Her Palestinian husband, Dr. Gazi al-Alyan, has been deported. No one is hearing her suffering, her retching or even her roaring. So I'm offering myself to the security services on the condition that this fine woman, the head of the Damascus Declaration, is released. I do this so that history wouldn't say that the proud Syrian people no longer has any gentlemen and doesn't respond to the voices of our women."
Najjar assured MENASSAT that he is serious about his proposal, saying, "I am ready to take al-Hourani's place in jail. This is an honor to me. As an Arab society, we don't accept a woman staying in jail without getting any help."
The Syrian authorities so far haven't reacted to Najjar's proposal. But Najjar points out that even if al-Hourani's case has already been referred to the court system, it is perfectly possible for President Bashar Assad to order her release on humanitarian grounds alone. Al-Hourani is suffering from kidney disease and has had to be hospitalized once already since her imprisonment.