Communist Labour Party (Syria)
National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change|
National Democratic Rally
Marxist Left Gathering
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The Communist Labour Party (Arabic: حزب العمل الشيوعي Hizb Al-'Amal Al-Shuyu'iy; also translated as the "Party for Communist Action") is a Syrian communist party active in the 1980s and early 1990s. The party, a Marxist–Leninist splinter group from the Syrian Communist Party, was first formed in August 1976 as the "League for Communist Action," and was renamed to "Communist Labor Party" on 6 August 1981. The party, banned by the government of Syria since its establishment, was victim to a number of crackdowns, where 200 of its members were arrested in 1986 alone. 21 members were sentenced by the Supreme State Security Court for "membership in a secret organization created to change the economic or social structure of the state". Amnesty International protested on behalf of the prisoners. The party continued to secretly distribute its publications–ar-Raya al-Hamra'a ("The Red Banner"), ash-Shyu'i ("The Communist"), al-Brulitari ("The Proletarian")–until 1991. On 6 August 2003, the party announced its return to the political scene in a statement, followed by a new publication called al-An ("Now").
The party worked with a Palestinian dissident group, called the Palestinian Popular Committees, in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus. The group was founded in 1983. The Palestinian Popular Committees were disbanded in 1985, as a campaign of arrests was launched against the Syrian party.
One of the sentenced activists of the party, Tuhama Mahmoud Ma'rouf, received a suspended sentence in 1995, only to be rearrested and ordered to begin serving her sentence in 2010 for unknown reasons. In February 2011, she began a hunger strike protesting the conditions of her detainment at Adra prison. She was released on 20 June of that year in a mass presidential amnesty for political dissidents.
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