Survivors from the prisons of the Assad regime and families of the disappeared people have sent a letter to organizers of the Brussels III Conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” which will convene in the Belgian capital Brussels on 12-14 March 2019.
Salma Kahala, executive director of Dawlaty organization, told Inab Baladi’s website that her organization, along with the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) and the Syria Campaign, support four groups of former detainees and families of disappeared persons to make their voices heard and convey their demands to the organizers of the conference.
Kahala said that the Brussels conference provides an opportunity to convey the demands of the Syrian people to the international community and urge it to have a common position and prioritize the issues of the detainees and forcibly disappeared people as well as the issue of accountability and truth.
The four groups called on the international community and the European Union to play a bigger role and ratchet up diplomatic pressure to support the issue of detainees on the UN Security Council and by the new UN envoy to Syria, Geir Pederson.
Kahala went on to say that the four groups called for mechanisms to disclose the whereabouts of disappeared persons in Syria. They also called for the international community, especially the European countries, to show the political will to support accountability for torture and ill-treatment of detainees in Syria by prosecuting the perpetrators in these countries’ national courts or through supporting the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM).
On Tuesday, survivors from the prisons of the Assad regime and families of the forcibly disappeared sent a letter to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the new UN envoy to Syria, Geir Pederson ahead of the Conference.
The letter to Mogherini called for ratcheting pressure on the Assad regime and Russia to force them to disclose the fate of hundreds of thousands of missing persons and to support the efforts to identify the missing persons and disclose the fate of the bodies of the victims. The letter also called for supporting the role of survivors and families of the disappeared persons in the efforts to reach a political solution in Syria.
The Brussels III Conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” aims to raise five billion USD to respond to the crises of the internally displaced persons and refugees in host countries, especially Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.
The conference first convened in April 2017 then in April 2018 during which funds were raised for Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)