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Cablegate: Canada On Syrian Political Dissidents

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OO RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0172 0351626
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 041626Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7246
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0233

UNCLAS OTTAWA 000172

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM SY CA
SUBJECT: CANADA ON SYRIAN POLITICAL DISSIDENTS

REF: A. OTTAWA 0024

B. 07 STATE 171106

1. (SBU) According to Director of the Middle East Division
of the Department of Foreign Affairs Michael Grant, Canada
decided to make a public statement in Damascus (text in para
2) in lieu of a demarche to the Syrian government in response
to reftel demarche. Its embassy issued the statement on
January 31.

2. (U) Begin Text

Canada is deeply concerned about the arrest of Riad Seif, a
respected member of Syrian civil society. This development
has renewed Canada's deep concerns over the human rights
situation in Syria, as it follows the recent detention of
other civil society activists associated with the "Damascus
Declaration."

We urge Syria to take all possible steps to ensure that
domestic law and practices are in keeping with Syria's
international human rights obligations, including as they
pertain to arbitrary arrest and detention, freedom of
movement, minimum guarantees for judicial proceedings,
freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of association.

End Text

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

WILKINS

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