Syrian Psychoanalyst Rafah Nashed Released from Detention
December 9, 2011
On November 15, 2011, after more than two months in detention, 66-year-old Rafah Nashed, the first practicing female psychoanalyst in Syria, reportedly was released from the women’s prison in Douma. Dr. Nashed was one of 1,180 people detained for their alleged involvement in anti-government activities who were released that day because Syrian authorities had determined that they “had not spilled any blood.” Detained on September 11, 2011, at the airport in Damascus as she prepared to board a flight to travel to France for medical appointments and to be present for the birth of her first grandchild, Syrian authorities reportedly accused Dr. Nashed of promoting upheaval and the overthrow of the government and being disrespectful of public order, but did not bring formal charges against her.
The CHR and the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies undertook Dr. Nashed’s case shortly after her detention. More than 20 letters of appeal were sent to the Syrian authorities in Dr. Nashed’s behalf by CHR correspondents and national academies that are members of the H.R. Network.
On November 25, 2011, Dr. Nashed’s family issued a thank you letter in her behalf. Below is an excerpt:
Our gratitude naturally goes to the entire international scientific community and, particularly, to the psychoanalytical community who, first in France, then progressively across the world, contributed to keeping an intense mobilization alive. . . . To all, be assured that your support, comforting words, and friendship were very precious during this difficult time. Rafah has not yet had the joy of holding her first granddaughter in her arms, but thanks to you and your tremendous mobilization, and the inextinguishable determination you have shown, the prospect of this union has become possible.