CONFLICT The Syria’s Disappeared

Nearly 100.000 documented to be forcibly disappeared by parties to the conflict in Syria

It’s been almost seven and a half years since the start of the civil war in Syria, which has grown into a regional war and one with global implications. It is clear to everyone that Bashar al-Assad’s regime has brought the greatest number of victims, assisted by Russia with military, logistics and political protection, it has claimed the most lives in this large and once rich country. In the last several years, the Russian army has even openly entered into a military coalition with the regime’s forces and has carried out unprecedented crimes against humanity, including mass killings, rapes, persecutions, massacres and mass exodus of the population.

Part of CIVIL Media’s team has decided to prepare a series of articles on the Syrian tragedy, with which it will contribute towards unraveling this horrible war fire that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and has destroyed millions of homes and families. Official reports of international and Syrian observers and human rights organizations have been used.

CIVIL is joining world calls for peace in Syria and for the criminals to be brought before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

In today’s article on Syria, we bring a digest of a report stating that no fewer than 95,056 individuals have been documented as being still forcibly disappeared at the hands of the parties to the conflict in Syria between March 2011 and August 2018. This has been noted in a report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) released a year ago, without any significant reaction by the international authorities, until the first draft resolution of the United Nations Security Council in June, 2019, and several statements by international organizations that followed. This report sheds light on the most notable cases of arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance in the country.

The report contains 39 portraits of notable figures in the popular uprising for democracy who have been arrested or forcibly disappeared at the hands of the different parties to the conflict, with the majority of these individuals having fallen prey to the Syrian regime’s apparatus of enforced disappearance. These portraits will be showcased in a number of exhibitions around the world.

The report uses the medium of art to emphasize the issue of detainees and forcibly disappeared persons as a reminder of their suffering in a significantly different approach from the group’s activities in the past eight years which have focused on releasing reports, studies, and figures.

The Syrian regime, the report notes, was the first of the parties to the conflict to carry out these practices in a systematic fashion against the various segments of Syrian society. The regime has adopted mafia-like methods, making most arrests without any warrant or judicial authorization while the victims are passing through a checkpoint or during raids. From the very first moment of arrest, the detainee is subjected to torture and denied any chance to contact his or her family or attorney. In addition, authorities routinely deny even having made any arrest; as a result, most detainees, up to 85 percent, are categorized as forcibly disappeared cases. These practices are part of a calculating and deliberate central policy of the Syrian regime.

The report adds that the Syrian regime denies that any incidences of torture or deaths by torture take place in its detention centers, even though it has issued hundreds of death certificates for forcibly disappeared former detainees in these prisons. These death certificates invariably state that the cause of death was either a myocardial infraction (heart attack) or an abrupt cessation of breathing without providing the deceased prisoners’ families with any additional information on the circumstances of the death of their forcibly disappeared family members. The families receive no medical report and are usually denied even the chance to see their loved ones’ bodies or to obtain any information about their resting place.

Xh. D.

Traslation: N. C.


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