Head of the National Commission for the Affairs of the Missing and Detainees, Yasser Al-Farhan, said that the issue of detainees is the most painful humanitarian issue and the most in need of being treated as a priority as it directly affects more than five million Syrians who represent the households of the detainees.
In a seminar on the sidelines of a session of the UN Human Rights Council, Al-Farhan said that the Commission has reports on the Assad regime’s continued use of brutal torture and new summary executions against detainees. He said that according to witnesses and households of the victims, these executions are regularly carried out on a large scale.
Al-Farhan indicated that the Assad regime’s arms extend into Lebanon through its tools such as the terrorist Hezbollah militia. He stressed that the Assad regime is unlikely to change its behavior as it continue to use arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, torture and summary executions as a strategy by which it controls Syria.
Moreover, Al-Farhan added that “we have serious concern about the regime’s efforts to get rid of the detainees’ issue by finishing off the rest of detainees in its prisons. He pointed out that there is no progress in saving detainees from torture and death or saving the households of the victims from extortion and deprivation.
Al-Farhan stressed the need to establish an effective mechanism with an international mandate for disclosing the fate of the missing and handing over the bodies of the dead. He stressed that achieving peace and stability in Syria and the region can only be achieved if all international parties take concrete steps to move forward with the release of detainees, redress the victims and prevent of impunity for criminals.
Al-Farhan pointed out that the refugee crisis could not end without taking effective measures to secure their safety, beginning with ensuring an immediate end to torture, extrajudicial killings and arrest, and releasing those remaining in the prisons of the Assad regime.
Al-Farhan called on all parties to take concrete steps, similar to the ones taken by Canada and Britain, in response to the Assad regime’s violation of anti-torture agreements and other agreements as a sufficient reason to strip it of the right to represent Syria.
Al-Farhan said that the Assad regime has shown utter disregard for all resolutions issued by the UN Security Council, Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. The regime has also blatantly violated the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all other agreements in this regard, he added.
Al-Farhan called on international organizations to ratchet up pressure on the Assad regime to grant investigation committees and relevant humanitarian monitoring missions access to its prisons. He also stressed the need to establish a international alliance to disclose the fate of the missing, release detainees and hold those involved accountable.
He also called for dismantling the torture and executions system in Syria so as to enforce the resolutions of the UN Security Council and General Assembly and achieve political transition in the country. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)