Ragheed al-Tatari is Syria’s longest-serving political prisoner. On November 24, he will have been detained by the Syrian regime for 41 years without charges or proper trial. This week, people around the world are pledging to walk to demand that he finally walks free. Together, we aim to reach 75 million steps pledged – a rough estimate of the steps Ragheed missed out on taking during 41 years in detention. Will you join?
It's simple to take part. Make your pledge here, then plan to get outside for a walk in your neighborhood or in nature in the next week. Share photos using the hashtag #WalkForRagheed
and help demand freedom for Ragheed and tens of thousands of people arbitrarily detained or forcibly disappeared by the Syrian regime. If you can't do a walk, send a message of support to [email protected].
If you are an artist and feel inspired to create work in solidarity please don’t hesitate sharing this with us in the same way.
Below is a message from Waill, Ragheed’s 41 year-old son:
“This week my father will complete 41 years in prison. For the entirety of my life I’ve been deprived of having a father and him of getting to know his only son. It’s outrageous that anyone should be forced to spend a single minute behind bars for opposing the Syrian regime, let alone an entire lifetime.
“For most of my childhood my family had no clue where my father was being held. It took 14 years to find out where he was and secure a visit to see him. I was preparing myself mentally, as who knew what state my father would be in, but when I saw him, although he looked tired, his eyes were not those of a broken man and his voice was so clear and kind.
“Since then I was able to visit him just a few more times as he was moved between many locations in the regime’s vast detention apparatus over the years including the notorious Sednaya Prison.
“My father might be Syria’s longest held political prisoner, but his case is an example of the injustice that tens of thousands of detainees and forcibly disappeared people are suffering at the hands of a regime that uses detention as a weapon to crush dissent and oppress communities.“I want my father to spend what’s left of his life free. I want him to know that he is not forgotten
, and that there are people around the world who demand freedom for him and all of Syria’s detainees. That’s why I am walking for his freedom - and I’m asking you to join me.”
Read more about Ragheed's story here.