New York, September 27, 2018: SNHR participated in a side-event on the sidelines of the meeting of the UN General Assembly. The event focused on the Syrian regime’s acknowledgment of death of hundreds of forcibly-disappeared Syrian citizens. Being a matter with dangerous implications, SNHR has already released two reports on this issue, while 41 states have sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General in this regard. This event comes as a result of the international attention and follow-up, as well as a coordination and collaboration with the US Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, under the sponsorship of the US, the UK, and France, as the event was also attended by a wide range of state representatives and expert international groups.
H.E. Ambassador Michel G. Kozak, US Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Senior Bureau Official, started the event and gave the floor to the participating Syrian groups, where Mr. Fadel Abdul Ghany, chairman of SNHR, opened his statement by stressing that the Syrian regime has, for the first time since the start of the popular uprising, revealed the fate of tens of forcibly-disappeared persons the regime itself was responsible for their disappearance as dead. SNHR was able, Abdul Ghany revealed, to record 836 cases according to the report, copies of which were distributed among the attendants. Abdul Ghany raised the question that how did the Syrian regime know the fate of those given that it has always denied forcibly disappeared any Syrian citizens and why now. Abdul Ghany presented two possible answers – either the Syrian regime is hoping to show that it has achieved victory on the ground and is now bringing the issue of detainees to a close so the people and society can submit and accept that going back to a state where the present Syrian regime is in power is their only choice, or it is the Russian regime who may have been the one who instructed the Syrian regime to do so, in order to end the file which impedes wrapping up the Syrian catastrophe from a Russian standpoint.