Friday, 25 November 2011

A message of thanks from the family - 25 November

 This message was published in Lacan Quotidien No 98, on 25 Nov 2011, and has been translated by Betty Betrand-Godfrey, thankyou.

"Following Rafah Nached’s release we, members of her family and friends, wish to express our sincerest and warmest thanks to all the people who took part in the formidable string of indignation and solidarity over the last two months, which allowed us, on the 16th November, to release a huge sigh of relief. Our gratitude naturally goes to the entire international scientific community and particularly, to the psychoanalytical community who, first in France, then progressively across the world, contributed to keeping an intense mobilisation alive.

We wish to show our deep consideration for the eloquent spokespersons of the “Racket for Rafah” along with the political and diplomatic people who have used their energy, determination and conviction to relay the messages in favour of her liberation, in France, Europe and worldwide. We also wish to thank Madame Carla Bruni-Sarkozy for her decision to use her immense fame to fight for the liberation of Rafah.

To all, be assured that your support, comforting words and friendship were very precious during this difficult time.
Rafah has not yet had the joy of holding her first granddaughter in her arms, but thanks to you and your tremendous mobilisation, and the inextinguishable determination you have shown, the prospect of this union has become possible and will happen as soon as Rafah recovers all of her rights as a Syrian citizen (and in particular her passport). She will soon have the opportunity to express to you directly her immense gratitude.
Translated by Betty Bertrand-Godfrey

Thursday, 17 November 2011

More News on Rafah's Release

This news comes from Lacan Quotidien, many thanks:

Rafah’s husband was called in the afternoon and told that Rafah might be on the list of prisoners to be released. He went to the prison, 80km from Damascus without being certain. He was pleasantly surprised to welcome her upon her release at 8pm, Damascus time.
She went back home with her husband and spoke to her children briefly over the phone. This information was given to us by one of them. She still needs to deal with some administrative process before her ‘case’ can be ‘definitely closed’, her son said. She is thus not entirely free yet. Her health doesn’t seem to require any emergency treatment. She is exhausted. She will take some rest.
The editing committee of Lacan Quotidien

Le mari de Rafah a été prévenu dans l'après midi que Rafah serait peut être sur la liste des prisonniers libérés ce jour.
Il est allé à la prison à 80km de Damas sans certitude.
Il a eu la bonne surprise de l'accueillir à sa sortie à 20h heure de Damas
19h heure de Paris.
Elle est rentrée chez elle avec son mari et a parlé à ses enfants au téléphone brièvement.
L'information nous est communiquée par l'un d'eux.
Elle doit encore faire des démarches administratives avant que son "dossier" soit “complètement fermé", dit son fils.
Elle n'est donc pas encore entièrement libre de ses mouvements.
Sa santé ne semble pas requérir des mesures d'urgence. Elle est éprouvée. Elle va se reposer.
Le comité de rédaction de Lacan Quotidien

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Rafah is FREE

We have just heard the news that Rafah Nashed has been freed.

More information when we get it.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Message from French Psychoanlayst Laurent Vaguerese, Founder and President of Oedipe

31st October 2011

To all signatories of the petition demanding the release of Rafah Nached

Dear signatory,

The situation in Syria continues to evolve and the regime gradually loses significant support. China, which had been part of the states that have prevented a vote on a UN motion condemning Syria for its violation of human rights, has now denounced the abuses of the Syrian regime.

The European Parliament's vote is also an important development. We invite those who have received a response from their MEP to write a letter of thanks for their vote on this motion, requesting also to be kept informed about any actions taken following the vote and the possible reactions of the Syrian authorities.

Following the meeting of the Support Committee, we ourselves will send a letter to that effect to the leaders of French and European parliamentary groups.

The news we have received about Rafah Nached through Houriya Abdelouahed, who is in frequent contact with her family, is particularly reassuring with regard to her health and morale.

Health wise her blood pressure is now stable, but her cholesterol level continues to be high.
With regard to her morale, Rafah Nached continues her fight for psychoanalysis. She has been working with women prisoners and their children and has asked her husband to bring toys to enable her to undertake this work with children imprisoned with their mothers.

Faisal (Rafah’s husband) thanks all those who have signed the petition and continue to mobilize. On the one hand, Rafah is frowned upon (by the Siryan regime); on the other, this mobilization of friends and colleagues prevented the latter from condemning her to silence and disappearance.

Each week, Faisal said, it is hoped that she will be released. If this does not happen next week she will celebrate her birthday in prison. We are making available an email address where you can write to her, especially on the occasion of her birthday: ecrireoedipe[at]

Thank you all for continuing to pay attention to Rafah Nached’s situation and for supporting our efforts to obtain her release.

Regards to you all,

Laurent Vaguerèse

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

EP Resolution on Rafah Nashed, 27 Oct 2011


The European Parliament,
      having regard to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and to  Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, to which Syria is a party,
      having regard to the statements issued by the spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative, on 30 August 2011 on the worsening of the human rights situation in Syria and on 23 September 2011 on the situation of Rafah Nashed in Syria,
      having regard to the statements calling for the release of Rafah Nashed that were made by Isabelle Durant and Libor Rouček, Vice-Presidents of Parliament, and Veronique de Keyser, Vice-Chair of the S&D Group, at the plenary sittings of 14, 15 and 29 September 2011,
      having regard to the Council conclusions of 10 and 23 October 2011 and to the sanctions adopted on 13 October 2011,
      having regard to Parliament’s resolutions of 7 April 2011[1] and 7 July 2011[2] on the situation in Syria, Bahrain and Yemen,
      having regard to its resolution of 15 September 2011[3] on the situation in Syria,
      having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,
A.      whereas Rafah Nashed, Syria’s first practising psychoanalyst and the founder of the Damascus School of Psychoanalysis, was arbitrarily arrested and detained on 10 September 2011 at Damascus airport by officers of the General Intelligence Services; whereas she is known for treating victims of psychological trauma as well as for her active engagement in favour of dialogue between all Syrians;
B.      whereas Ms Nashed is 66 years old and in a precarious state of health, as she has heart disease, is recovering from cancer, has high blood pressure and has to take medication regularly; whereas her health is deteriorating in prison, and this is aggravating her heart disease;
C.      whereas Ms Nashed was travelling to Paris to be with her daughter, who was expecting a child, when she was taken to prison without charge and initially held in secret detention;
D.      whereas on 14 September 2011 she was accused of ‘activities likely to destabilise the State’ and the judge refused to release her on bail; whereas the nature of the accusation and the paranoia that has gripped the regime for the last six months raise fears of a lengthy period of detention intended to intimidate the whole of Syria’s intellectual community;
E.      whereas in the space of a very few hours a huge international campaign was mounted, including a petition calling for her immediate and unconditional release;
1.      Strongly condemns the arbitrary arrest and detention of Rafah Nashed by the Syrian authorities;
2.      Expresses the gravest concern about the situation of Ms Nashed, in view of her precarious state of health;
3.      Calls on the Syrian authorities immediately and unconditionally to release Ms Nashed on medical and humanitarian grounds and to guarantee her physical safety and return her to her family without further delay;
4.      Demands that the Syrian authorities allow humanitarian organisations and doctors to treat the victims of violence, and that they give them access to all parts of the country and enable them to carry out their legitimate and peaceful work without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions, including judicial harassment; calls on the Syrian authorities to abide by international human rights standards and international commitments guaranteeing freedom of opinion and expression;
5.      Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice‑President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary‑General of the Arab League and the Government and Parliament of the Syrian Arab Republic.

[1]    Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0148.
[2]    Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0333.
[3]    Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0387.

Info from LibDem MEP Sarah Ludford

Thank you for contacting me about the detention of Rafah Nashed in Syria.

I was unable to attend the debate at the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg last week, but I was one of the ALDE (Liberal) group signatories to the Joint Resolution which was subsequently passed.

In this MEPs strongly condemned Rafah Nashed’s arbitrary arrest and detention by the Syrian authorities and expressed grave concern for her welfare, particularly in view of her poor health. We called on the Syrian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Ms Nashed and to return her to her family without delay. The resolution also called more generally for the Syrian regime to allow humanitarian organisations and doctors to treat the victims of violence, and to allow them to carry out their work without restriction or fear of reprisals. The resolution will be forward to the Council, the Commission, High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the Arab League and the Parliament of the Syrian Arab Republic.

On 23 September 2011 Catherine Ashton issued a statement on Rafah Nashed’s situation expressing her concern and saying her arrest and detention was unacceptable given her precarious health condition. Baroness Ashton called for the immediate release of Ms Nashed and all others arbitrarily detained in Syria, as well as for an immediate end to the repression and violence against the Syrian people.

You may also be interested to learn that the Council recently agreed to tighten sanctions on Syria in view of the repression and widespread human rights violations by the Syrian regime, while ensuring that legitimate trade is affected as little as possible so as not to harm the Syrian people.

The ALDE group has also strongly welcomed the award of the European Parliament’s 2011 Sakharov prize for freedom of thought to the ‘Arab Spring’ represented by the deceased Mohamed Bouazizi from Tunisia, Asmaa Mahfouz from Egypt, Ahmed al- Zubair Ahmed al-Sanusi from Libya and Razan Zaitouneh and Ali Farzat from Syria, see here.

Please be assured that the EU is active in supporting the people of Syria in their fight against the repressive regime.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Ludford

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP
Liberal Democrat MEP for London
Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman
36b St Peter's Street
London N1 8JT

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Please write TODAY to WIlliam Hague - email address here

Dear Foreign Secretary,

I am sure you are already aware of the case of Rafah Nached, 66, the first woman psychoanalyst in Syria who has been imprisoned in Damascus since 10 September.  She is in poor health and has never been involved in subversive political activity.  She has worked to help people traumatised by the situation in her country and was arrested whilst boarding a plane to Paris, where her daughter was about to give birth.  We understand she has been held in solitary confinement for seven weeks and I am writing to ask you to intercede on her behalf.

The European Parliament has voted to support a resolution on her behalf on Thursday 27th Oct. This is great news, but please could you also take up her case outside the EU.  Could you please let me know when and how you are planning to do this and keep me informed of any progress towards her release?

Her colleagues in this country are determined to keep this case as high profile as possible until she is released.  With the instability in Syria at the moment, it is important that the regime there is aware that this woman, and others in a similar situation, are known by name to the international community as innocents caught up in the disturbances through no fault of their own.  The last phase of any dictatorship is very dangerous for those who are the captives of that regime, so we think it is essential that we try to get her released as soon as possible.

I look forward to hearing from you about Rafah Nached as soon as possible,

Yours sincerely