Who is Salameh Kaileh?

[Eds: UPDATED 26-Apr-2012 with information from Jadaliyya's excellent profile of Salameh]

Born in the town of Birzeit in Palestine in 1955, Salameh Kaileh studied in Baghdad and Damascus and became an activist within the Palestinian resistance.

He wrote a number of books, among them: “Critique of Mainstream Marxism” (1980), “The Arab and The National Question” (1989), “Imperialism and the Plunder of the World” (1992), “The Problems of Marxism in the Arab World” (2003) and recently “The Problem of the Arab Nationalist Movement” (2005).

Salameh was arrested at 2 AM in Damascus on 24th April, 2012. The Syrian security forces (we don’t know whether it was the army or the police) attacked his home, ransacked it, confiscated his computer and arrested him. According to his lawyer, Anwar Bunni, of the Syrian Centre for Legal Studies and Research, the authorities have not yet provided any explanation for his client’s arrest.

Salameh has already spent 8 years in Syrian prisons. Syrian activists believe that Salameh has been picked up by the authorities for his writings which are extremely critical of the anti-people Syrian dictatorship and also of the two major opposition groups, the Syrian National Council and the National Coordination Council for Democratic Change, neither of whom, according to Salameh, has faith in the capacity of the Syrian people to bring change or topple the Syrian regime. These activists allege that it is precisely due to his call for a more radical, revolutionary stance, for his criticism of the increasingly accommodating signals coming from the major opposition groups, that the Syrian regime recognised him as a major threat and moved to silence him.

We, on the other hand, stand with him and with the courageous Syrian revolutionaries who have vowed not to rest until the barbarous dictatorship of the Assad clique has been deposed. We urge you to sign the online petition pledging solidarity with Salameh Kaileh and with the genuine struggle of the Syrian people for freedom and justice and demanding his immediate release along with all of the regime’s political prisoners.

Some recent writings of Salameh:
Correspondence with a Syrian socialist (Feb 3, 2012)
أزمة الثورات العربيـة (Apr 21, 2012)
سوريا أيضًا تنتظر التغيير (Mar 11, 2012)

Interview with Resonance FM, London (Feb 16, 2007)