Jailed Briton Feared Dead in Syria
The family of a British man detained by the Syrian government for nearly a year have spoken for the first time about their fears that he may die behind bars, The Observer reported Sunday.
Hilal Ali who has been held by the Syrian government since last July, is a former basketball player of some note in the Middle East.
The 44-year old was born in Iraq in 1957.
According to the paper, after Hilal was granted the British citizenship in 1990, he ran a restaurant in London. Last year he moved to Syria to work as a basketball instructor.
On 23 July, Ali told a friend in London he feared arrest by the Syrian Intelligence Unit, said the daily.
A relative had escaped arrest for breaching national security and Ali believed the Intelligence Unit planned to hold family members instead, it added, noting that Hilal was arrested in the northern city of Hama.
Amnesty International believes he was beaten twice daily until October, when he was transferred to a military detention center in Damascus. Human rights organizations have been denied access to him and his family fears that he may have died in custody – Albawaba.com