Syrian activists arrested – demand their release

We have received this statement on the arrest of left-wing activists in Syria. It is produced by a group calling themselves the “Gathering of the Marxist Left in Syria” – GML.

Although as Marxists we do not necessarily agree with everything in the statement, in particular the idea that the solution to the plight of the Syrian masses can be achieved through a gradual transition to some form of bourgeois democracy, we believe it is our internationalist duty to defend those that have been arrested.

“In the afternoon of Saturday October 1, 2011, security forces in Homs arrested two members of the central committee of the Gathering of the Marxist Left in Syria (GML), comrades Mansour Al-Atassi and Dr. Naif Al-Sallom, and took them to an unknown destination. The two are known in their home town for their patriotism and representation of people's aspirations to progress and development, and for their refusal of foreign intervention, sectarianism and violence. They have played a prominent role, together with many national figures of the opposition, in securing civil peace in one of the most volatile Syrian cities in the recent months.

“The central committee stresses the responsibility of the authorities for any harm done to the two comrades and others who were detained with them (Dr. Abdul Fattah Al-Zabin and Mr. Issa Ibrahim). The central committee suggests that this approach of silencing and continuing with the security solution is causing Syria to enter into the current impasse and making it more and more intractable. We see that taking the country to safe shores can only come about by moving gradually and safely in the transition from the stage of totalitarianism to democracy, which will spare the country the threat of those abroad, whether far or near, who are planning to repeat the scenario of Libya.

“Freedom for Mansour al-Atassi, Naif Salloum, Abdel-Fattah Al-Zabin, Ibrahim Issa and other political prisoners and all prisoners of conscience in Syrian detention centres.

“Long live free, democratic Syria”