The Syrian Coalition mourned the death of prominent political activist Yahya Sharbaji who died under torture in the prisons of the Assad regime. Assad’s security forces detained Sharbaji in the beginning of the Syrian revolution for his dissident activism.
Yahya’s family on Monday received confirmation of Sharbaji’s death under torture in the prisons of the Assad regime along with his brother Maan Mohammed Taha Sharbaji. The two brothers were detained by the Assad regime’s Air Force Intelligence service along with prominent peaceful activist Ghyath Matar on September 6, 2011.
Yahya was active in the Syrian revolution when it began in 2011, playing an important role in the organization of the anti-Assad peaceful movement in the town of Daraya in Rural Damascus. He started his political activity in 2003 with social activities that emphasized the priority of beginning change at the level of individuals.
Yahya expressed explicit, strong refusal of any behavior leading to sabotage and destruction of the state institutions. He was one of the most prominent non-violent activists in Syria. In an interview with Al-Arabiya TV in 2011, he said that “we will insist on peacefulness until we build a new Syria without violence and build a state that can solve its internal problems with reason, not with weapons with which the Assad regime uses to solve its problems with the people. When we offer flowers to the army and police, we provide them to ourselves in the first place.”
Yahya wondered as to “how the Assad regime distorted the people to this extent when it made the shabiha forces cold-bloodedly kill their fellow citizens. “The Assad regime has ruined the people from the inside,” he said commenting on the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.
The Syrian Coalition extended its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Yahya as well to all the Syrian people. It stressed that Yahya established the principle of nonviolence when he announced that he prefers ‘to be killed than to be a killer,’ thus emphasizing that the Syrian revolution was a peaceful since its inception.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights said that that more than 13,000 people were killed under torture in Syria since 2011, 99 percent of whom were killed by the Assad regime’s security services. The monitoring group said that it recorded the names of more than 118,000 people who were detained in Syria, 88 percent of whom were detained by the Assad regime. It is estimated that the real number of people detained by the Assad regime exceeds 215,000. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)