Jailed Syrian psychoanalyst's health worsens: family

27th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

The health of Syria's first practising female psychoanalyst has "greatly worsened" since she was jailed two weeks ago by President Bashar al-Assad's regime, her family told AFP on Tuesday.

Rafah Nashed, a 66-year-old French-trained analyst, founded the Damascus School of Psychoanalysis and until recently hosted meetings where Syrians could talk about their fears amid a wave of political violence.

She was arrested on September 10 in Damascus as she was due to fly to Paris and has been held -- initially secretly -- ever since, despite suffering from cancer, heart trouble and high blood pressure.

"During the last visit her husband was able to make to the Duma prison on September 25 Rafah Nashed appeared very weak, suffering from more and more marked coronary problems," her family said in a statement.

"She was exhausted and, there being nowhere to sit in the visiting area, she was forced to call short her meeting with her husband," it said, adding she faces a possible charge of inciting revolt and could spend seven years in jail.

"Every hour, every minute is now crucial to save Rahaf Nashed's life. Her family, her loved ones and the entire scientific and psychoanalytic community solemnly urge Bashar al-Assad to end this iniquitous and inhuman detention."

Protests against Assad's regime erupted in March, triggering a bloody crackdown on civilian demonstrators and a round-up of dissidents.

The international community has condemned the violence, and the United States and European Union have targeted Syria with sanctions, but the repression continues.

© 2011 AFP

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