Around 82,000 Syrian Citizens Are Forcibly Disappeared at the hands of the Syrian Regime
Families whose members have fallen a victim to the crime of enforced-disappearance avidly try to find information about their relatives and children which involved in many cases paying large sums of money to mafia-like organized networks that were the by-product of this catastrophe. However, only a very few were able to acquire merely information. The Syrian authorities, on the other hand, deny constantly anything of this sort, and not only they have yet to launch any investigation or hold any official accountable, but they protect officials and legalize the crime, if not being directly involved in it.
The report, which was released by SNHR today, notes that many Syrian families were shocked when they went to civil registration offices to finish a paperwork related to their children or relatives who have been forcibly disappeared at the hands of the Syrian regime for long times that can amount to years as they found out that their beloved ones have been written off as dead. The report says that such cases were notably frequent in the governorates of Hama, Damascus, Damascus suburbs, Latakia, Homs, and Hasaka.
According to the report, around 81,652 Syrian citizens were forcibly disappeared at the hands of the Syrian regime alone between March 2011 and June 2018, while around 13,066 victims died due to torture at the Syrian regime’s official and non-official prisons in the same period of time.
Fadel Abdul Ghany, chairman of SNHR, adds:
“The Syrian regime is tampering with civil records, as well as the names of the deceased and the forcibly-disappeared, in addition to the dead bodies and estates. This barbarian behavior exceeds and surpasses how things were in the ages of slavery. Putting an end to this terrorism and the destabilization that have afflicted the Syrian people for decades is an essential part of the responsibility of the international community, the General Assembly, and the Security Council, on historical, moral, and legal levels.”
The report outlines the steps and stages that every death case inside state prisons must go through in order to be recorded at the civil registry, noting that the Syrian regime has deliberately skipped these stages and laws, as the family of the deceased is not informed not they receive the dead body or get to know where their beloved ones were burial. most families fear announcing the news of their beloved ones’ deaths inside Syrian regime prisons, or even arranging a funeral service in fear of security pursuit in a violation to the most basic standards for human dignity by the Syrian regime that only deepens the suffering of the victim’s family.
The report was prepared through contacting families who found out accidentally that their detained members were recorded as dead at the state’s civil registry. The report contains five accounts. According to the report, 161 cases of this sort have been recorded since May 2018, including 94 in Damascus suburbs while 32 cases were recorded in Hama governorate, 17 in Lataia governorate, eight in Damascus governorate, six in Homs governorate, and four in Hasaka governorate at the time of this writing.
According to the report, individuals who were arrested together, or in the cases of first-degree kin, have the same death date, which leads to believe that they all received the same sentence that might have been issued by a secret court.
The report stresses that The Syrian regime has undoubtedly perpetrated a large number of violations in these incidents, most notably deliberately disappearing 90% of its detainees and torturing them using the most horrendous methods of sadism and brutality, which only results in a certain painful death, humiliating and terrorizing the society and detainees’ families by depriving them of the most basic standards for rights and human dignity through abstaining from informing them of their beloved ones’ death, refusing to surrender their dead bodies, and lastly recording them as dead without their knowledge. The Syrian regime has used the resources and institutions of the Syrian state as a weapon of war against anyone who dares to oppose it.
The report calls on the Security Council and the UN to Hold an emergency meeting to discuss this critical matter that threatens the fates of nearly 82,000 individuals and terrorizes the whole Syrian society, find methods and mechanisms to prevent the Syrian regime from tampering with the living and the dead, as this poses a major threat to the security and stability of the Syrian state.
The report calls on the COI to start investigating this critical issue, noting that SNHR is willing to provide all additional information and data. In addition, the report calls on the IIIM to Add this critical issue to the main investigation agenda.
The report calls on the Syrian regime to stop treating the Syrian state as a private family property, stop terrorizing the Syrian people through enforced-disappearance, torture, and death due to torture.
Lastly, the report stresses the dangers of the Syrian regime tampering civil records and exploiting them to serve the goals of the ruling family, and shoulder the legal and material repercussions completely and compensate the victims and their families from the resources of the Syrian state.