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Anwar al-Bunni

Syria Prominent human rights lawyer was released, after serving his sentence of 5 years of imprisonment concerning his activities as a lawyer

Anwar al-Bunni is a prominent human rights lawyer in Syria. He is one of the founders of the Syrian Human Rights Association and of a centre for the defence of journalists and political prisoners. As a lawyer, al-Bunni was particularly involved in defending people who were prosecuted for expressing their opinions in non-violent ways, including intellectuals and human rights activists who were arrested when the ‘Damascus Spring’ of 2001 was suppressed. Al-Bunni also fights against torture in Syrian prisons and advocates democratic reforms.

Because of his work, al-Bunni has been the target of repressive measures by the authorities. He and his family members were systematically threatened and followed, and were the target of smear campaigns by the authorities. The Damascus Bar Association has repeatedly disbarred al-Bunni.

On 17 May 2006 al-Bunni and a number of other human rights activists were arrested after having signed a petition calling for the improvement of the relationship between Syria and Lebanon. Al-Bunni was charged with disseminating false information that could harm the morale of the nation.

After a trial that was considered to be in breach of international standards, he was sentenced five years to prison in April 2007. At the time, he had already been in prison for nearly a year.

In the week of 22 May 2011 al-Bunni was released from the notorious Adra prison, near Damascus, after completing his prison term. The circumstances of his detention were reportedly very bad and he was tortured by the prison staff. Read here an interview Amnesty had with Anwar al-Bunni, in which he tells about his experiences in prison.

Latest news


Syria Anwar Al-Bunni remains in detention

15 Jan 10 Syrian lawyer Anwar al-Bunni remains detained in the notorious Adra-prison, located just outside Damascus. It is reported that Anwar al-Bunni has been imprisoned in harsh conditions and has been subjected to abuse by his prison guards. In April 2007 Anwar has been sentenced to five years in prison for ‘spreading of false information’. Al-Bunni was […]

News Syria


Syria Razan Zaitouneh missing for four years

09 Dec 17 Today, 9 December 2017, marks four years since the disappearance of lawyer Razan Zaitouneh. Together with her husband and two colleagues, Razan Zaitouneh disappeared on 9 December 2013 in Douma, after a group of armed men stormed the office of the Violations Documentation Center. Since then, no one has heard from them. Many organizations, Lawyers for Lawyers amongst them, […]

Syria Razan Zaitouneh missing for three years

09 Dec 16 Since human rights lawyer Razan Zaitouneh, her husband and two colleagues were abducted on 9 December 2013, no one has heard of them. Today, exactly three years after their disappearance, fifty-six organizations, L4L amongst them, called for their immediate release. Razan Zeitouneh, Wa’el Hamada, Samira Khalil, and Nazem Hammadi disappeared in Douma, after group of armed men stormed […]

Syria Joint statement for release of Khalil Ma’touq

05 Oct 16 On 4 October 2016, 31 organizations, including L4L, called for the immediate release of Human Rights Lawyer Khalil Ma’touq and his assistant, Mohamed Thatha. The two men disappeared four years ago, on 2 October 2012. Ma’touq, director of the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research, is a human rights lawyer who has been defending peaceful activists […]

Syria Call for release of ‘Douma Four’ on birthday of Razan Zaitouneh

29 Apr 16 To mark the birthday of missing human rights lawyer Razan Zaitouneh, today a large amount of organizations, including L4L, called for her immediate release, as well as that of her colleagues Samira Khalil, Nazem Hamadi and Wa’el Hamada. The four, also known as the ‘Douma Four’, were abducted on 9 December 2013 in Douma. Since […]

Syria Joint statement for release of Khalil Maatouk

07 Oct 15 The Syrian government should immediately and unconditionally release the prominent human rights lawyer Khalil Maatouk and his colleague Mohamed Zaza, 51 organizations, including L4L, said on 6 October 2015, three years after their arrest. Maatouk, director of the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research, is a human rights lawyer who has been defending peaceful activists for more than […]