The Assad regime has resumed the issuance of death notices for detainees who died in its prisons. A new report pointed to a marked increase in the number of death notices the Assad regime issued between late 2018 and early 2019.
A recent report by the Syrians for Truth and Justice rights group revealed that at least 700 death notices were sent to the civil registry department in the province of Hama alone this year. The notices left families of the victims in deep shock following years of waiting for news about their loved ones.
The rights group cited many eyewitnesses and relatives of the victims as saying that the Civil Registry Department in Hama handed them death certificates for their relatives without handing over the bodies or telling them about the burial sites.
According to the report, the Assad regime’s civil registry departments informed many of the familes that the detianees died in detention centers in the period between the December 1, 2018 and the end of February 2019.
Since May of last year, the Assad regime has begun sending death notices for detainees who died while in its custody to the civil registry departments in Damascus, Rural Damascus, Hama, Aleppo and al-Hasaka. Some families learnt of the death of their loved ones when they tried to obtain official papers from the civil registry departments.
On November 27, 2018, the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that the Assad regime must reveal publicly the fates of those detained, disappeared and/or missing without delay.
The release of thousands or tens of thousands of names of allegedly deceased detainees and/or missing persons is unprecedented and suggested that the regime already had information about the fate of the deceased, including the date of the deaths, the Commission said.
Syrian activists dubbed these lists as the “lists of death.” The Syrian Coalition said that the issuance of these notices meant that Assad regime is determined to carry on with the murder and torture of the detainees as well as the extermination of all opponents.
The Syrian Coalition called on international organizations concerned with defense of human rights and the United Nations to exert real pressure to force the Assad regime to reveal the fates of tens of thousands of civilians who have been forcibly disappeared and to immediately release the tens of thousands of detainees in its custody. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)