From the L.A. Times:
Reports from Damascus say Syria’s leading dissident is on his deathbed. Riad Seif, 62 and suffering from prostate cancer, has spent the last year in Adra prison as punishment for attending a meeting of pro-democracy groups in Damascus. Syrian President Bashar Assad has prohibited him from seeking treatment abroad, a restriction Seif once called "a slow death sentence."
Seif is the most respected member of Syria’s dwindling secular, democratic opposition to the iron-fisted rule of Assad and his Alawite clan. As the Obama administration prepares to resume diplomatic engagement with Damascus, Seif’s plight is a poignant reminder of the abysmal state of human rights in Syria. His biography illustrates why it would be a mistake for Washington to sweep human rights under the rug.
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