The cessation of hostilities agreement did not affect the outcome of detainees
SNHR issued its monthly report concerning the documentation of arbitrary arrests by conflict parties in Syria.
The report confirmed that SNHR is keen to follow the highest documentation standards but faces a number of challenges in documenting arrest cases. Some families are unwilling to provide us with any information since they fear their son’s life. Thier task becomes even harder when a female prisoner is involved, since families fear that their daughters might be tortured or executed.
The report also indicated that Syrians have deep convictions that the international community, with all its establishments, is incapable of pressuring the Syrian authorities to release any detainee. However, most of the release cases were recorded after prisoners swap deals between government authorities and armed opposition groups.
The report mentioned that SNHR documented the arrest of more than 117 thousand individuals, including children and females, and it affirmed that their estimations indicate that the number of detainees reached more than 215 thousand, 99 % are held captive in government detention centers, even though authorities deny these facts.
The report referred the mounting number of detainees to several reasons as: the relative’s activities with armed opposition groups or they provide humanitarian aid to people in need. The most of the arrest cases were conducted randomly against people who are not involved in protests, relief aid, or military actions. And there are multiple forces, affiliated to government authorities, who are responsible for arbitrary arresting civilians and detaining them in certain prisons that are not subjected to judicial supervision where detainees are not treated according to the Syrian stipulated laws.
The report stated that the abusive detentions, in April, by government forces raised through the operations of detention that expanded to civilians from “Damascus suburbs” in general and the citizens of Al Zabadani and Madaya in particular where the government forces detained dozens of residents of the besieged neighborhood while attempting to return to their homes. The governmental forces Continued in chasing and arresting the activists and their families within the controlled cities and communities. The focus of these detentions was against the university students and government officials and activists of humanitarian action even those who are members of humanitarian organizations such as the Red Crescent or the licensed civil associations. In April also, the detention operations carried out by the governmental forces, included merchants in various sectors, and the most important of the banking sector financial remittances in Damascus, Aleppo and Hamah
ISIS organization also continued in the policy of arbitrary detention against civilians in-ruled areas under its control. The detention operations included doctrines’ violators and forcibly imposed by the Organization, as well as communications stores and internet cafes, and civilians who are trying to flee from the areas of the control of the Organization to the areas of the control of the factions of the armed opposition.
Kurdish self-management orces continued the policy of arbitrary detention, enforced against civilians and political activists opposed to the directions in the areas under its control, which focused the arrests in the city of “Al Hasakah”, and the city of “Afrin” the countryside of the province of “Aleppo”.
During April, SNHR recorded a rise in the rate of cases of arbitrary detention, by Nusra Organization, to journalists and activists in Idlib Province in general, and the civilians who have links with affiliates to the Syrian opposition armed forces.
The report presented the statistic showed that not less than 741 detainees in April including 598 detainees at the hand of governmental forces which are distributed to 569 males, 11 children, and 18 females.
While it recorded 56 arrests cases by Kurdish self-management that distributed to 46 males, 5 children and 5 females.
However, the armed opposition groups arrested 8 individuals all of them are males. ISIS arrested 54 individuals that distributed as follows: 44 males, 6 children and 4 females. As Al Nusra front arrested 25 individuals distributed to 23 males and two children.
The report documented 342 release cases that distributed as follows: 288 release cases from government forces’ detention centers, 11 release cases from Kurdish self-management forces’ detention centers, and 21 release cases from ISIL’s detention centers.
According to the report Al Nusra front released 14 individuals, as the armed opposition groups released 8 individuals.
The report classified the documented release cases from the government forces detention centers into two categories: 269 release cases from military and civilian prisons and 19 release cases from security branches.
The report documented 214 inspection points that resulted in detention that distributed in the governorates, most of them were in Al Hassakah governorate. While the governmental forces topped up the list of the parties that are responsible for raids followed by ISIS.
The report mentioned a statistic for Abductions that included 214 abduction cases. SNHR was unable to identify the influential parties of those Abductions. 163 of those Abductions cases were in region which are under the control of armed opposition groups.
As the issue of detainees is the only concern that had no progress although included in the statement of the cessation of hostilities, and in this particular case SNHR recommended the following:
First: the arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances, which are still going on even now according to the monthly report of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, must be stopped immediately, and must disclose all of their own destinies, and to allow parents to visit them immediately.
Second: the release, unconditionally, of all detainees who have been detained merely due to the exercise of their political and civil rights, and the release of all women and children in additions to stop taking hostages of war.
Third: granting independent international observers such as the members of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry set up by the United Nations on the Syrian Arab Republic and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit all the formal and informal detention centers, without prior arrangement, without any limitation or qualification.
Fourthly: the formation of a UN committee to monitor the release of the detainees periodically according to a timetable for the requested all those detained, mainly from the Syrian government, which holds 99% of the total of the detainees.
The report recommended the Security Council to monitor the implementation of the resolutions: 2042 issued on April 14, 2012, resolution 2043 issued on April 21, 2012 and 2139 issued on February 22, 2014 that put an end to the arbitrary arrests.
The report emphasized the United Nations and the International Community have to shoulder their responsibilities towards hundreds of thousands of detained and missing individuals in Syria.