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Mr. Amjad Baiazy

Honourable senators, today I rise to bring your attention to the grave conditions in Syria and the unjust treatment of individuals such as Amjad Baiazy by the Syrian government.

On May 12, Amjad Baiazy, a Syrian resident on his way back to the United Kingdom, where he has studied and lived for the past four years, was stopped by Syrian security forces at Damascus International Airport. Frantically, Amjad called his brother and attempted to explain what was going on.

Close to two months have passed now, but family and friends of Amjad know nothing of his whereabouts or his condition. Amjad has been unable to contact a personal lawyer and his family fears that he may be a victim of torture. Amjad was arrested on the groundless charge of “inciting revolution from abroad.” Amjad is a friend of my daughter and is one of the thousands of Syrians who have been wrongly detained by the Syrian government.

Syria has been ruled by an unjust and dishonest dictatorship for more than 40 years. For the last two months, the Syrian people have spoken and their voices have been heard across the country and the world. They are asking for real change now, not vague promises to be fulfilled perhaps at some undefined later date. The Syrian government has responded with mass arrests of citizens like Amjad.

Syrians are being violently oppressed by the Syrian government. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad knows very well that the popular movement is demanding his exit and causing a mass uprising that has spread across the international community.

I am proud to be part of a government that supports the rights and freedoms of the Syrian people and compels President al-Assad to reform his government. The status quo is no longer acceptable.

Honourable senators, I ask you today to support our Canadian government by supporting the people of Syria in their peaceful efforts to realize democracy, political freedom and human rights.