The SNHR has briefed the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on the case of the citizen Abdul Hamid Zahlawi, a housewares seller from the Bab al Sba neighborhood in Homs city, who was aged 24 at the time of his arrest. SNHR urged the UN body to demand that the Syrian authorities release him immediately. Mr. Zahlawi was arrested arbitrarily on February 5, 2014, by the Syrian Regime’s State Security forces following a raid on his place of residence in al Gardenia neighborhood in Badr al Din Hamed Street in Homs city, and was taken to an undisclosed location. He was last seen in early April 2014 by a former detainee in the Military Security branch, Branch 215, in Kafrsousa neighborhood in Damascus city, to which he was transferred as a deposit for Branch 291 of the General Intelligence Department. He has not been seen since that date at any security branch or prison. His fate remains unknown to the SNHR as well as to his family.
The Syrian authorities have denied any connection with the disappearance of Abdul Hamid Zahlawi. The SNHR has been unable to determine his fate, as have his family members, who fear that they may be arrested and tortured by regime personnel themselves if they continue to ask about his whereabouts and fate, as has happened in numerous previous cases.