As the Assad regime continues to detain and torture peaceful activists, the Families for Freedom Movement advocacy group held a sit-in protest to show solidarity with families of the disappeared and detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime in the town of Ma’arat al-Nu’man in southern rural Idlib on Thursday. The sit-in protest also marked the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances which falls on August 30.
Participants in the sit-in held signs that read ‘we demand freedom for all detainees,’ “freedom for the forcibly disappeared in Syria’, and “in solidarity with Syrian families who lost their loved ones in detention centers.’
A coordinator in the Families for Freedom Movement told Smart News Network that they organized the sit-in protest to draw attention to the plight of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime; to demand their release; and to condemn the killing of detainees under torture.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Coalition’s National Commission on Detainees and Missing Persons on Thursday held a press conference in Istanbul on the death of detainees under torture in the prisons of the Assad regime and the responsibility of the international community towards this issue.
The Commission called upon the international community to shoulder its responsibilities after the Assad regime was found responsible for all kinds of crimes against detainees. It warned of the dire consequences of the failure to put an end to these violations and allowing the perpetrators to escape punishment. It also called upon the international community to take urgent measures to protect detainees.
The Commission set forth a set of recommendations including calling for adequate measures to protect detainees by immediately and seriously intervening to give the International Committee of the Red Cross access to official and secret prisons and detention facilities in Syria.
The Commission warned the Assad regime against further acts of torture or executions in its prisons. It called for forcing the Assad regime to hand over the bodies of the victims to their families as it called for condemning acts of arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, torture and liquidation in the regime’s detention centers.
Moreover, the Commission called for forcing the Assad regime abide by the provisions of the laws of the Syrian state in terms of allowing the judicial authority to monitor all detention facilities and publishing the reports issued in this regard.
The Commission also called for exerting pressure on the Assad regime to ensure the release of detainees and the disclosure of the fate of the forcibly disappeared according to a specific timetable that begins with the release of women, children, the elderly and the sick, and the immediate release of children and women as a confidence-building measure.
It also called for compelling the Assad regime to stop arbitrary arrests, physical assassinations and any forms of torture in prisons and detention facilities as well as to enable independent observers to enter these facilities to ensure humanitarian treatment of the detainees.
On December 21, 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention for the Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearance and decided to proclaim August 30 as the International Day for Victims of Enforced Disappearance. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)