Activists on Sunday organized two silent marches in eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus to highlight the plight of detainees in Assad’s prisons. Human rights organizations estimated detainees in Assad’s prisons at over 250,000.
Activists said that the first march walked down the streets of the town of Arbeen, while the second one walked through the streets of the towns of Kafarbatna, Hammoriya, and Saqba.
The marches were organized to draw the attention of the local population, the media, and the international community to the plight of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime. Participants held placards calling for the release of detainees and for making the issue of detainees a top priority.
The delegation of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) raised the issue of detainees in the seventh round of talks in Geneva which concluded Friday.
Nasr Hariri, head of the HNC delegation to Geneva talks, said that the issue of detainees was not thoroughly discussed during the latest meeting in Astana. He added that the HNC delegation raised the issue in the seventh round of talks in Geneva along with the issues of stopping the bombardment and the protection of civilians.
Amnesty International in early July launched a campaign under the title “End the Terror in Syria Prisons” calling on the international community and human rights organizations to ramp up pressure the Assad regime to allow independent monitors to enter the prisons which the watchdog group described as “brutal”, and to allow them to conduct an independent investigation.
On July 7, the Syrian Coalition called on the international community and human rights organizations to exercise pressure on the Assad regime to allow international monitors into its prisons. The Coalition said detainees are being subjected to widespread torture and summary executions in Assad’s prisons.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Oqab Yahya said that the issue of detainees has yet to attract full attention of the international community, which encouraged the Assad regime to ignore all international resolutions involving the issue of detainees.
Yahya stressed that the Coalition will continue to press for the enforcement of international resolutions and accountability for war crimes as well as the disclosure of the fate of detainees in the prisons of the regime and their immediate release. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Smart News Network)