The Families for Freedom Movement activist group organized sit-ins in several countries around the world to draw attention to the issue of detainees and enforced disappearances in the prisons of the Assad regime.
The sit-in protests coincided with the International Day of the Disappeared, which falls on August 30 of each year. They were held in several cities including Bekaa in Lebanon, Gaziantep in Turkey, Dublin in Ireland, Boulder in the United States, and Vienna in Austria as well as in Idlib.
Inab Baladi local newspaper reported that participants in the sit-in protests included families and relatives of the detainees and the forcibly disappeared as well as rights activists. It pointed out that participants held signs calling on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities by exerting pressure on the Assad regime to force it to disclose the fate of detainees in its prisons.
Participants also held photos of their detained relatives and signs demanding their release. They also distributed roses to passersby “in memory of the peaceful activists.”
The newspaper quoted Ghada, the wife of a detainee and one of the participants in a sit-in protest, as saying: “The goal of such activity is to inform peoples of the world that the detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime are peaceful people whose hands have not been stained with blood in Syria. We have a right to know their fate.”
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) earlier uncovered new evidence about the Assad regime’s responsibility for enforced disappearances in Syria. According to figures compiled by the monitoring group, there were 81,000 people who were forcibly disappeared by the Assad regime between March 2011 and August 2018.
In a report released on August 27, the Network said that the Assad regime indicted itself by admitting its responsibility for enforced disappearances after having recently confirmed the death of 836 detainees in its prisons. It said that the Assad regime’s manipulation of the civil registry records confirmed its responsibility for thousands of kidnappings in Syria.
The Network said it had cross-matched the names on the lists that the Assad regime recently released with a database of the names of approximately 82,000 forcefully disappeared people.
The cross-matching showed that 77 percent of the names on the recently released lists were already in the Network’s database, the report added. The monitoring group went on to say that 23 of the names were not in its database. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)