The Need for Justice for Detainees Held by the Assad Regime Amidst COVID-19

SNHR and TDA Organize a Side Event on the Sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Meetings


The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) and The Day After (TDA) organized a side event on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings, which was broadcasted on the Zoom platform and social media pages, with the participation of Mr. Amb. James F. Jeffrey, Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, US Department of State, Mr. Robert Rohde, Ambassador for the Negotiations on Syria and Head of Division for Syria, Iraq, Lebanon & Anti ISIS Strategy, German Federal Foreign Office, Mr. Ivan M. Nielsen, Special Representative for the Syria Crisis, Denmark, Ms. Rasha, former political detainee, Mr. Fadel Abdul Ghany, Executive Director of SNHR, and Mr. Mutasem Syoufi, Executive Director of TDA, with the event being moderated by Ms. Emma Beals, Senior Advisor at European Institute of Peace and Editor of Syria in Context.
The event focused on the following key questions:
– What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on arbitrarily detained persons in Syria, and how is it possible to pressure the Syrian regime and the other parties to the conflict to release the largest number of them, including the sick and the elderly? What types of support can be provided to survivors of arbitrary arrest, their families, and the families of the missing?
– Why have the Security Council and the international community more broadly struggled to address the plight of detainees and other victims of the Assad regime’s crimes against humanity in Syria?
– What are the most prominent accountability tools available, in addition to the sanctions to hold the Syrian regime accountable and to advance a political resolution of the conflict based upon UNSCR 2254?? What role can victims’ groups and Syrian human rights organizations play in this context?
Mr. Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairman of SNHR opened the session by noting that: “The main objective of these opening remarks is to put this event in context, since it follows a series of side events on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings, going back several years. In previous years, the event was organized by the United States and sponsored by several countries, with the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) invited as a partner along with other organizations; this year, due to the extraordinary circumstances arising from COVID-19, we, at SNHR, are honored to undertake this task. The goal of this event is to ensure continuity in this series of side events.”
Mr. Abdul Ghany also thanked The Next Day and Rasha for their participation in organizing the event, and the friendly countries for their speedy coordination and response.

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