Announced on French-language news site Lacan Quotidien this evening: Rafah Nached is free! After having been informed that she could be on the list of prisoners to be released imminently by the Syrian authorities, Rafah Nached’s husband arrived earlier today at the prison 80km from Damascus to the pleasant surprise of being able to greet her on her release. She was able to speak briefly to her children by telephone, one of whom has confirmed that she is still waiting on the Syrian authorities to fully ‘close her file’, before which time she cannot move entirely freely. However, she does not appear to require urgent medical treatment and will now rest.

The psychoanalytic community has come together to call on the Syrian government to release Lacanian psychoanalyst Rafah Nached.

The first Syrian woman to work as a psychoanalyst in Syria for 26 years, she was arrested by the Syrian authorities on 10th September at Damascus airport where she was en route to Paris. She is 66 years old and suffers from health problems.

Many influential names in the psychoanalytic community have lent their signatures to the petition for her release and a Committee of Support has been formed among various psychoanalytical organisations across the world. 

Add your name to the petition, alongside Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, Noam Chomsky and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, by emailing rafah.navarin@gmail.com or submitting via the form here.

More information can be found here (in French) or here (in English).

If you speak French or Arabic, this YouTube video contains a message from Rafah to the outside world. A more thorough update from Jacques-Alain Miller on the efforts by he and others to campaign for her release can be found (in French) here. For English-speakers, the College of Psychoanalysts in the UK has collated media reports providing background and links to other sites where you can lend your support here. This site, in English, also provides regularly updated news on the case.




The EU Parliament has passed a Joint Resolution on the case of Rafah Nached in which it “Strongly condemns the arbitrary arrest and detention of Rafah Hashed by the Syrian authorities” and “Calls on the Syrian authorities immediately and unconditionally to release Ms Nashed on medical and humanitarian grounds and to guarantee her physical safety and return her to her family without further delay.” You can read the full text of the Resolution here.

In addition, on 23 September 2011 Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Secutiry, issued her own statement on Rafah Nached’s situation, echoing the Joint Resolution.

By Owen Hewitson, LacanOnline.com