Skip to Main Content
NATIONAL-ACADEMIES.ORG Contact Us   |   Keyword Search: 
National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Engineering
Institute of Medicine
National Research Council
of the NAS, NAE, and IOM

About Us


International Human Rights Network

Quick Links

For members of the NAS, NAE, IOM, and International Human Rights Network:

Forgot your username?
Your username is most often your firstname.lastname, example john.smith. Once you have your username you should be able to recover your password if you have enrolled. Please contact us at if you need assistance.
Help us support the rights 
of scientists, engineers, 
and health professionals


Contact Us
Committee on Human Rights
National Academy of Sciences
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 334-3043
Fax: (202) 334-2225

Haytham al-Maleh

Elderly Syrian Human Rights Lawyer Granted Presidential Pardon
March 14, 2011

On March 8, 2011, veteran Syrian human rights lawyer Haytham al-Maleh was released from ’Adra Prison after he was granted a presidential pardon because of his advanced age and serious ill-health. Mr. al-Maleh, who is 80 years old and suffers from diabetes and an overactive thyroid gland, had served more than one year and four months of a three-year prison term for “weakening national sentiment” and “broadcasting false or exaggerated news which would affect the morale of the country.” Mr. al-Maleh was arrested on October 14, 2009, after he came out of retirement to defend two human rights lawyers who had been arrested for providing legal counsel to political detainees, including four medical doctors, an engineer, and a dentist whose cases had been undertaken by the CHR and the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (H.R. Network).
In its role as Secretariat of the H.R. Network, the CHR documented Mr. al-Maleh’s case and shared the information with affiliated national academies that include lawyers in their membership. During Mr. al-Maleh’s imprisonment, these academies sent more than 20 letters of appeal to Syrian authorities in his behalf.
Immediately upon his release from prison, Mr. al-Maleh gave several interviews to media outlets and reportedly told Amnesty International: I hope to keep to my promise I made to those who have supported me, by continuing my work. I call on the government to release all the prisoners of conscience in ’Adra Prison and the thousands of others like them detained in security facilities.