Coordinator of the Syrian National Commission for Detainees and Missing Persons, Yasser Al-Farhan, said that the Assad regime “lives off the blood of Syrian people,” adding that the Commission has documented the testimonies of ex-detainees in the regime prisons. He said that these testimonies brought to light the scale of atrocities and violations of international conventions and norms.
Al-Farhan, who is also member of the Syrian National Coalition’s political committee, said that the Commission has recently listened to testimonies of ex-detainees who were detained or abducted by the regime’s national defense and shabiha militias. The Commission also interviewed relatives of detainees and the missing and documented their testimonies in accordance with international standards.
Al-Farhan pointed out that the move came as part of the Commission’s efforts to document the regime’s violations against detainees. The Commission has also been collecting evidence and supporting the cases being reviewed by the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) and other international bodies. He underscored the importance of accountability for of war crimes and its impact on the future of Syria.
Moreover, Al-Farhan described the testimonies of the survivors as "shocking and appalling," adding that Assad regime officials committed widespread war crimes against detainees, such as torture, sexual violence, and executions.
The Assad regime extensively used arrests and abductions as part of its strategy to suppress the Syrian revolution, noting that this strategy is based on spreading fear and terror in the hearts of civilians.
Al-Farhan added that arrests and abductions are still ongoing. He said that the Assad regime refuses to disclose the fate, names and whereabouts of detainees in its custody. It also refuses to implement international resolutions and the humanitarian provisions related to the release of detainees.
“The Assad regime extorts families of detainees by demanding huge amounts of money in exchange for information about their loved ones. This extorted money has become a main income for the regime and its repressive security forces.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Hisham Marwa, member of the Syrian National Coalition’s legal committee, said that the Iranian military bases in Syria were built with the aim of suppressing the Syrian people and have absolutely nothing to do with the alleged confrontation with the Israeli occupation.
In an interview with the Saudi newspaper Okaz on Saturday, Marwa said that the Iranian military bases are part of a project that Tehran has long been working on to consolidate its presence in Iraq, Syria and neighboring countries.
Marwa pointed out that the Iranian military bases are also aimed at popping up the Assad regime in its war against the Syrian people. He noted that these bases are also part of a bigger project aimed at destabilizing the Arab region, namely Iraq, the Gulf countries, and Jordan in the first place.
With regards to the Russian support for the Assad regime, Marwa pointed out that the Assad regime was on the verge of total collapse in 2012 when the Iranians rushed to salvage it. In 2015, when the Iranians proved unable to save the regime, Assad sought the help of the Russians who used the same tactics they previously used in Afghanistan and Chechnya. He said that the Russians have been involved in massacres against Syrian civilians.
Marwa went on to say that the scorched earth policy being used by the Assad regime aims to change the demographic landscape in Syria and make progress on the ground with the support of around 90,000 Iranian-backed militants.
Moreover, Marwa warned that by continuing to build military bases in Syria, Iran looks determined to carry on with its sectarian project aimed at stabilizing the whole region. He pointed out that these bases must serve as a message to the Arabs that Iran will go further in its sectarian project aimed at expanding its influence in the region. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)