The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said it had recorded at least 517 cases of arbitrary detention in March, adding that regime forces are behind 99% of these cases, while ISIS and the PYD militants are responsible for the remaining detention cases.
The latest push to the political process was supposed to lead to the release of detainees and the halt to arbitrary arrests in Syria. On the contrary, the Assad regime continues to detain civilians across Syria in violation of the “cessation of hostilities” agreement that went into force on February 27.
According to the Network, the latest detentions have brought the total number of people arbitrarily detained by the Assad regime to nearly 215,000, of whom 117,000 are documented by their full names. Large numbers of women and children were among the detainees, according to the network.
The watchdog group said regime forces carried out large-scale arrest campaigns in March, the largest of which took place in the neighborhood Barza of Damascus where regime forces detained dozens of residents of the neighborhood after they had returned to their homes. Regime forces also continue to arrest dissident activists and members of their families in the cities and towns under the regime’s control.
The arrests targeted mostly university students, civil servants, humanitarian and relief workers, merchants, owners of money changing and transferring shops in Damascus, Hama and Aleppo. (Source: Syrian Coalition)