The Incident of the Killing of the Defected Colonel Zidan Nsierat
SNHR has released a report entitled: “Detainees Disappeared and Tortured by an Armed Opposition Faction in Daraa” which documents an incident of arrest that turned into enforced-disappearance and then severed torture which resulted in death which is the incident of the death of the colonel Zidan Nsierat inside a detention center for “Shabab Al Sunna squad” faction in Bosra Al Sham city in Daraa governorate due to torture and negligent health care.
The report is based on the information provided by the victim’s family, judges at the Justice House, and armed opposition elements which SNHR contacted. Additionally, this report draws upon SNHR archive which records arrest and torture incidents and practices.
The report asserts that these cases are rare at the armed opposition detention centers so it must be highlighted and condemned in order to expose the perpetrators of these crimes and call on the political opposition to try to deter them and even hold them accountable and drain their funding resources.
The report notes that in early 2016, colonel Zidan Nsierat headed the negotiation with the Syrian regime in Izra’ city in the suburbs of Daraa which was intended to be the bases for a truce in Ibta’ town. Colonel Zidan Nsierat was chosen by the town’s residents and prominent figures. Some of the residents told us that they had to work on a truce with government forces who took over nearby areas from Ibta’ town and the threats they made to raid the town in case they turned down the truce. The agreement made with the Syrian regime by colonel Zidan Nsierat stated that the town is not to be bombed, aids to enter the city, and the town detainees to be released by the Syrian regime.
Furthermore, the report says that days after the truce and the reconciliation were done with the Syrian regime, “Sanad Houran” battalion which is related to Shabab Al Sunna squad, an armed opposition faction led by an individual named “Ahmad Al Ouda”, arrested the colonel Zidan Nsierat along with two others on 28 February 2016. The other two were part of the negotiation delegation with the regime where the arrests were made over charges of treason.
The report includes accounts by the victim’s family, Justice House in Houran, which confirmed that colonel Zidan Al Nsierat died due to torture three days after he was arrested in Borsa Al Sham prison. As of this writing, “Shabab Al Sunna squad” faction refused to hand his dead body to his family and buried it in an undisclosed location.
In addition, the report records similar incident of victims who died due to torture and people who were assaulted and beaten by the same faction “Shabab Al Sunna squad” in Daraa.
Lastly, the report calls on the Syrian opposition to condemn torture and enforced-disappearance practices, work on holding all those who were involved accountable, insure the victims’ and their families’ right to a proper redress, conduct legal training workshops for the officials in charges of the detention centers and interrogation in order to raise their awareness on detainees’ rights. Additionally, the report calls on the Security Council to refer the Syrian case to the International Criminal Court, hold all the perpetrators accountable, instill peace and security in Syria and implement the norm of the Responsibility to Protect. Moreover, the report notes that the Syrian regime’s impunity against crimes encourages other groups and dictatorships to commit crimes which is the Security Council’s responsibility.