The Head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of Refugee Affairs Amal Sheikho said that the Lebanese authorities have taken "unprecedented measures against the Syrian refugees,” citing the targeting of defecting Syrian army officers in preparation for their handover to the regime.
The Department has recently held meetings with lawyers, journalists, activists and politicians concerned about the affairs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. It discussed with them the violations against refugees and ways to take legal action to put an end to such violations and provide protection for refugees and restore their rights.
Sheikho stressed that the responsibility for the safety of Syrian refugees lies with the Lebanese authorities, calling on the United Nations to launch an urgent investigation and follow up on the cases to prevent the deportation of Syrianb refugees to the Assad regime.
Moreover, Sheikho said that tens of thousands of officers and soldiers in the Assad forces refused to carry out orders to kill civilians or shoot demonstrators, including those who fled to Lebanon to escape reprisal by the Assad regime which executes anyone who disobeyed his orders.
"We are appealing to the conscience of the world and its institutions, specifically the UNHCR and Amnesty International to intervene and prevent the handover of these officers to the Assad regime," Sheikho said.
She pointed out that Lebanon is a founding member of the United Nations and is committed to its Charter, particularly the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She also noted that Lebanon signed the Convention against Torture, the Article 2 of which prohibits the handover of those who may be subjected to extrajudicial killing and torture.
Sheikha stressed that the Lebanese authorities are obliged to abide by the resolutions and respect the rights of refugees on their territory. She called upon those authorities to respect their constitution and the reputation of their country as well as to reconsider all recent measures against Syrian refugees who fled death and arrest. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A human rights group on Wednesday said that tens of thousands of detainees have been killed under torture in Syria since the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011, the majority of whom died while in the custody of the Assad regime
In a report issued on the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said that 14,727 people were killed under torture in the prisons and detention centers of the Assad regime, including 177 children and 62 women.
According to the report, the Assad regime has detained about about 1.2 million people since 2011, adding that the regime is responsible for 98 percent of the total deaths under torture. Hardline militant groups were responsible for 0.39 percent of the deaths, while other groups, including the PYD militia, were responsible for 0.3 percent.
The Network pointed out that detainees in the prisons of the regime suffer poor hygiene, negligence, severe torture, and lack of medical care.
The report indicated that the detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime are subjected to brutal torture, causing them to suffer various kinds of diseases leading to their death.
The report said that 32 people died of torture while in the custody of the ISIS extremist group, while 24 others died in the prisons of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militant group. At least 43 people were killed in prisons of the PYD militia.
The UN General Assembly adopted in June 1997 the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture with the aim of the total elimination of torture and the assessment of the performance of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
The Network called on the international community and the UN Security Council to take the necessary measures to hold accountable those responsible for the killing under torture. It demanded the protection of estimated 143,000 detainees still in the Assad regime's detention centers.
Last week, the head of the Syrian National Commission for the Affairs of Detainees and Missing Persons, Yasser Al-Farhan, said that the Assad regime continues to detain and execute detainees in its prisons. He pointed to new evidence of the Assad regime’s mass execution of those who deny it was detaining, citing the Assad regime’s continued issuance of death notices for detainees who perished in its prisons to the civil registry departments in the Syrian provinces.
Al-Farhan stressed that war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity are taking place against detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime. He pointed out that the Assad regime continues to challenge the reports issued by the International Commission of Inquiry and all international statements about its responsibility for the torture and mass execution of the detainees in its prisons. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Activists published on social media a video showing young men tearing down photos of Bashar al-Assad that were hung at the entrance of a government building in the town of Sanamein in northern rural Dara’a.
The cameraman is heard saying that the video footage was filmed on June 25. The video is reminiscent of the early days of the Syrian revolution.
Anti-regime sentiments have been building up in Dara’a province despite the so-called reconciliation agreements that were reached in southern Syria in the spring of 2018. Last month, the tensions escalated into clashes between former fighters of the Free Syrian Army and regime forces, with reports about the death of pro-regime militants.
FSA fighters have also kidnapped pro-regime militants in Dara’a province to force the Assad regime to release young people it has recently detained in Dara’a.
Last week, the ‘Ahrar Houran Conglomerate’ released a statement calling on the young people in the province to stay indoors as much as they can to avoid being detained by the Assad regime. The statement stressed that bowing to the regime’s threats would allow the regime to use them as cannon fodder in its ongoing military campaign against their fellow Syrians in northwestern Syria.
Observers have expected a renewed insurgency in Dara’a as the Assad regime is putting increasing pressure on civilians and committing violations against them, adding that the Assad might once again lose control of the region. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)